Environmental campaigning group Friends of the Earth has launched a campaign to encourage people to shop locally.

The campaign, Shop Local First, launched today, will aim to promote the benefits of small shops.

Friends of the Earth claims that local shops stock more local food, offer a more personal service and are more energy efficient than supermarkets.

It will work with local shops across the country to develop local shopping promotions such as loyalty cards, discounts, posters and local shop directories.

Friends of the Earth supermarket campaigner Sandra Bell, said: “Local shops are being put out of business on a daily basis because of the growing power of supermarkets.”

She added: “If we all Shop Local First then we can help to save our local shops, boost the local economy and also help do our bit to tackle climate change.”