Waitrose and Co-op next to launch ‘British-only’ sections online

Six major UK retailers have now responded to an MP’s call for supermarkets to back the nation’s farmers by launching “Buy British” tabs on their websites.

Waitrose and Co-op have become the latest supermarkets to join the campaign by adding “British” and “Best of British” sections to their websites.

Morrisons was the first UK retailer to launch a British-only section on its website, in December last year, following a campaign by Conservative MP Dr Luke Evans, which was backed by 125 cross-party MPs and supported by the NFU and other farming organisations.

See also: Sainsbury’s follows suit with online ‘British’ section

Other retailers including Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Ocado have since introduced their own British-only online sections.

Tesco, Asda and Lidl are among the major UK retailers yet to take action on the MP’s campaign. Farmers Weekly has contacted these retailers to ask about their plans.

Dr Evans said implementing a “Buy British” section online was a “relatively simple change that gives consumers greater choice, supports our farmers and cuts down on unnecessary food miles”.

He added that he would follow up with Tesco and Asda “in the hope that they follow suit soon”. 

Tesco later confirmed to Farmers Weekly that it will add a British page to its website “in the coming weeks” to “showcase examples of the quality, British products available to our customers”.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “Supporting British farmers, growers and suppliers remains critical to ensuring we have a robust food industry in the UK, and we count ourselves as proud champions of British agriculture, striving to source produce from the UK wherever possible.”

NFU support

NFU deputy president David Exwood said he was pleased to see more retailers getting behind Dr Evans’ campaign.

“We know from our own independent research that the public wants to buy more British food from retailers,” he added.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak has also lent his support to the campaign and called for industry-led action.

“We will continue to encourage all retailers to do all they can to showcase the incredible food produced right here, in the UK,” said Mr Sunak.

See more