12 November 2001
Buy local, Charles tells stores

By Isabel Davies

THE Prince of Wales has called on supermarkets to buy more local food, and urged the UK to retain its food security during difficult times.

Prince Charles said: “To sacrifice long-term security through short-term convenience would be utter madness and can hardly be sustainable.”

The princes comments came at the launch of a local food guide produced by the Institute of Grocery Distribution and Business in the Community.

The report – Local Sourcing- Growing Rural Business – aims to show how local suppliers can work in partnership with others in the food chain.

Launched in London on Monday (12 November), it includes case studies and contains useful advice and contacts for both suppliers and retailers.

Prince Charles said as the food chain had extended over the past 50 years, farmers had had the raw end of the deal.

Producers in countries such as France received a bigger percentage of the end retail price because they were better organised, he said.

“There must be some lessons here for our farmers, ” he said.

“If we can encourage more local sourcing, I am sure we can improve the viability of our farmers.”

Business in the Community chairman Peter Davis said the guide was an important and timely contribution to the debate about the rural economy.

Sir Peter, who is also chief executive of Sainsburys, said it was in everyones interests to help revive the UKs rural areas.

More than 10,000 copies of the report, sponsored by Sainsburys, HSBC Bank and the National Farmers union, will be distributed.