08 May 2003
Supermarket chain Asda is to step up a local sourcing programme to support and promote British suppliers.
The supermarket is launching a "Best of Wales" range in Welsh stores next week, comprising specialities sourced from local suppliers, following similar initiatives in the Lake District, Scotland and the West Country.
The move is part of Asda's "Buy British" campaign, in which the company has spent £1 million relabelling 695 product ranges to ensure their country of origin is clearly displayed.
References to "product of EU" will be removed and replaced with specific countries.
Asda will launch 60 new British products in its 259 stores this year, and extend UK produce-growing seasons to make it less reliant on imports.
Chris Brown, Asda's head of agriculture, told a conference of 300 farmers and suppliers last month that promotion was the key to ensuring UK industry received the support it needed.
"The pledges affirm our sourcing policy of buying British wherever possible," he said.