18 October 1999
Somerfield to stock local food

REGIONAL speciality food will be stocked on supermarket shelves across the country under a new scheme by Somerfield.

The giant retailer plans to bring more than 1000 regional specialities into its shops in a joint promotion with Food from Britain, which promotes British produce.

Speaking on Radio 4s Farming Today programme, Simon Waring of Food from Britain said this was an opportunity “to work with small producers on a national basis”.

Somerfield will display products under a regional banner, and employ an external facilitator works with producers on operations and administration.

This will provide one ordering and invoicing point.

Mr Waring said: “I believe this will have a substantial effect on regional food producers.”

It is thought the typical producer will have a £100-200,000 annual turnover. The scheme aims to attract 300 producers in the first year.

“Somerfield is looking for quality and character and originality in everything from cheeses to smoked ham to ice cream,” said Mr Waring.