Rod Addy
Taste of The West is preparing to roll out its local food promotion, launched in 1,500 independents in May, to all major multiples in the West Country.
The regional food group said it was in consultation with the major multiples, all of which are keen to participate.
Taste of The West is currently arranging tastings with producers and retailers to support the initiative, and has scheduled a launch for the campaign for September 19.
It is also sending the multiples the same PoS material it is using in independent stores to flag up the promotion. The signage was designed to convey a clean cut, healthy image, and was based on local consumer research.
Sainsbury confirmed it would be one of the first multiples to introduce the marketing drive on a pilot basis in its Alphinbrook store in Exeter.
It then intends to roll it out to a total of 17 Sainsbury supermarkets in the West Country.
Julie Harvey, manager of the foot and mouth recovery programme at Taste of The West, said: "The scheme aims to raise awareness of the variety of local food available from the multiples, show they are supporting local suppliers, and flag up where to go to get products."
She continued: "There has been an increase in the supply of local produce to stores ­ we now have 3,000 products in the south west, and are trying to bring that to light."
Harvey said the campaign would have no cut-off point and she hoped it would become a permanent fixture within stores in the West Country.
She said Taste of The West was planning to analyse the effects of the campaign in independents in the autumn, but that there had been a lot of interest from the public.
"We've had a lot of positive feedback. The scheme has also helped improve links between producers and retailers," she added.
The campaign was introduced to delicatessens, farm shops and rural post office stores, supported by promotional work at major agricultural shows.

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