Consumers are willing to pay more for locally produced and UK-grown food, according to new research.

A survey carried out by the University of Reading has revealed that, on average, consumers are willing to pay a premium of 88p per 500g for locally produced lamb, and 97p per 500g for local strawberries.

They are also happy to pay a premium for food that is UK-produced, but not local, over imports. However, the extent of this is much smaller - 21p/500g for lamb and 12p/500g of strawberries.

Older people and those with higher incomes are prepared to pay the highest premium for local foods.

The study took in the views of 222 people, who were asked about topics such as origin, organics, price, freshness, food miles

and support for local businesses.

The research showed that people were more inclined to pay extra for local food if it was displayed next to an imported alternative.

However, they were not prepared to go to the length of making a time-consuming visit to a specialist outlet such as a farmers' market in order to seek out local foods.

Professor Bruce Traill, from the University's department of agriculture and food economics, said: "Local foods were considered inconvenient to purchase, with most people preferring to do all their shopping in one supermarket rather than make a special trip to a farmers' market or sign up to an organic box scheme.

"These were considered to be the only purchase routes, even though in practice many supermarkets do sell local produce."