When we say British, we mean it!

Well done to the Co-op who have made a move to be the first national UK retailer to sell British- only fresh meat and to commit to use it in their chilled ready meals, pies and sandwiches. Danish bacon and NZ lamb will not get a look in and the Co-op believe that it will not have to increase retail prices to make this happen.
What’s more the Co-op are going to spend £10m on advertising this initiative and with it help advertise British farming. In 2016, £5bn worth of meat was shipped into the UK from EU member states, 30% of that came from Ireland and 10% from Denmark. By comparison New Zealand only accounted for £291m, but that is still £291m that could be spent with British farmers.
Jo Whitfield the Co-op Head of Retail said, “We can do this because we’re owned by members, not shareholders, and can invest long term in what matters to communities, not in what provides the fastest shareholder return. I call on other retailers and food providers to do more to help our farmers, particularly as they head towards uncertain times.”
Bravo!

Our challenge, as customers, is to vote with our feet and support their initiative and make sure we mention it to the staff in store so they give feedback to those who make these big decisions!

New Investment in sugar processing
Another bombshell last week was an announcement from Al Khaleej International Ltd of Dubia to build a massive sugar beet processing plant at Allerton, near the A1 north of Wetherby. Al Khaleej already supply 1.5 million tonnes of sugar each year in to world markets, so it sounds like they have the customers, the experience, and given where they come from, they probably have the money as well.
Their plan is to build big and process 25/30,000t of sugar beet each day and daily produce 5/6000t of sugar. They would need several thousand local sugar beet growers which would be welcomed by those Yorkshire growers who lost their market when British Sugar closed their local factories. Hopefully Al Khaleej’s next plan will be to build the mother of all milk processing factories in North Cumbria!

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