Co-op announces compliance with Fruit & Veg Pledge

The Co-op has become the third major retailer to sign up to the NFU's Fruit & Veg Pledge, at its inaugural farming conference today (20 September).

Image: The Co-op Group (CC BY 2.0)
Image: The Co-op Group (CC BY 2.0)

Intended to foster long-term relationships between retailers and growers, the pledge requires retailers to adhere to a number of requirements including the fair treatment of suppliers, advance planning on promotions, investment in horticultural research and a commitment to sourcing more British fresh produce.

The Co-op's commercial director Michael Fletcher said: "We know our customers care about the provenance of their food and are keen to champion British products wherever they can.

"By signing up to this charter, we're giving them further assurance on the transparency of our supply chains and making it easier than ever for them to support British farmers and growers."

Welcoming the move, NFU Horticulture Board vice-chairman Guy Poskitt said: "With Co-op's Fruit & Veg commitment, our British growers have a bright and prosperous future, one that they can thrive on and one that continues to offer British consumers high quality great British food."

Aldi signed up to the pledge last July, followed in June this year by fellow discount retailer Lidl.

Held at the the Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground, Manchester, today's conference brought together over 300 Co-op staff, farming group members and suppliers. Keynote speaker the Olympic cycling champion Chris Boardman presented what he saw as the essential ingredients for successful teamwork, while key suppliers gave their views on establishing effective supply chain networks.

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