Consumers want to increase the amount of locally-produced food they buy to support British farmers and growers.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of grocery think-tank IGD, said a third of shoppers bought local foods, but they wanted retailers to stock more regional lines.

“They think that local food is fresher because it has not travelled as far and is therefore better quality,” she said.

“And they want to buy local and regional food because they want to support their local economy.”

Ms Denney-Finch was speaking at the launch of a £250,000 sausage factory at Kendal on Tuesday (16 February).

Part of Cumbria farmer John Geldard’s local food hub, Plumgarths, the plant has capacity to produce up to 1.5m sausages a week and will create up to four new jobs.

Steve Chambers, director of Plumgarths Foodservice, said the factory was in response to the “burgeoning demand” for premium British produce from a growing number of retailers.

“This new facility will help us to grow Plumgarths and meet this demand with our strong appealing Plumgarths brand,” he said.