This article has been submitted by leading food and travel journalist, Angela Youngman.
A double helping of Welsh lamb and beef is set to be provided by the Co-Op in a move underlining its commitment to backing home-grown produce and locally sourced food.
From May, the Co-Op will stock more than 30 lines of own-branded Welsh lamb and beef – including Welsh Beef Peppered Grillsteaks; Welsh Lamb Leg steaks and Shoulder chops; Boneless Lamb Breast and Welsh Beef Sirloin Steak in a further move to champion Welsh produce in its food stores across Wales. This represents a massive increase in the amount of Welsh food being stocked in store, with a doubling of the amount of Welsh lamb and beef lines. It has already vastly extended other ranges such as cheese and beer.
Simon Dryell, Ranging Manager for the Co-Op in Wales says:
“Food provenance, quality and trust are important cues for customers and, with the Welsh brand world-renowned for its innovation, quality and traditions, we are proud to give it pride of place in our stores.”
“The Co-Op’s Farming Groups and its collaborative approach not only offers greater security and stability to local suppliers and producers but, plays a key part in unlocking opportunities. Backing local produce is about much more than just hanging out the bunting, and as a community retailer we are committed to investing in our local economies and providing new opportunities to showcase and celebrate great home-grown produce. Working together, the partnership approach is key to unlocking greater potential, meeting customer needs, adding value through product development and meal solutions, and ultimately making a bigger difference throughout the supply chain.”
Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs welcomed the decision. She said,
“I am grateful to the Co-Op for their commitment to doubling its stock of Welsh lamb and beef. This news will provide a real boost to Wales’ lamb and beef producers.”
“Food and drink is a real Welsh success story. We are already more than half way towards achieving our target of 30% growth in the sector by 2020. Welsh lamb and beef is at the forefront of our larder of world class produce and I am sure the range on offer in the Co-Op’s stores will prove to be popular with customers.”