Retailers add a personal touch to meat packaging

Convenience chain Budgens has relaunched its entire fresh meat range to emphasise its British origin.

Farmers’ faces will now appear on all packs of fresh meat in the chain’s new middle and top ranges, alongside information about breed and production methods on premium product.

This is part of a general push by retailers to underline their local produce credentials, which sees Waitrose this week roll out new shelf labelling bearing pictures of producers and the words “Made in Britain”, while Tesco is planning to put farmers’ photos on packs of fresh meat.

Budgens’ buyer Steve Carter said: “The audit of our meat business identified that customers were not expecting us to have a consistent and comprehensive range or a value offer, and our labels weren’t communicating the right messages.”

To drive the point home, Budgens’ website also provides details of each of its meat producers.

A photo of Norfolk pig farmer Philip Richardson adorns pork packs, which he described as great news.

“It could give farmers a point of difference and help them lock in small premiums,” he added.

“If we can produce the goods, then we should increase our margins.”

The new labelling is intended to tie in with last autumn’s campaign which promoted farmers making promises about the quality of their produce.

It was co-ordinated by the Red Tractor farm assurance scheme, and Mr Carter said customer feedback had been excellent.

“It engages farmers in the retail environment so the customer can see, and they can’t get enough of it.

We are planning to extend it to cheese and other dairy products.”

If you have a locally made product you think Budgens should stock, call Jonathan Bayne on 0870 400 6283.