Co-op promises to sell only British strawberries this summer season  - Fruit & Vine

Co-op promises to sell only British strawberries this summer season 

Co-op has become the first UK retailer to announce it is moving to 100% British strawberries for the summer season across its entire own brand range. 

Co-op first to announce move to 100% British strawberries for summer season 

Strawberries are hitting shelves two weeks earlier than last year, just in time for St George’s Day.    

From today (23rd April) the retailer will exclusively offer British strawberries for the summer season across its 2,400 UK stores and online as part of its commitment to back British farmers and growers. 

Mitigating against weather challenges  

In March, Co-op announced adding a ‘Best of British’ section to its website. The retailer said it will make it “easier and quicker” for customers to find locally produced food. 

Grown in Kent, Norfolk, Hereford and Lincolnshire, growers of Co-op’s own-brand berries use measures to mitigate against the weather challenges such as cultivating crops in protected environments to ensure steady growth.  

Co-op predicts sales of 1.42 million punnets of its own brand strawberries (£2.50, 227g) between St Georges Day and the bank holiday weekend at the beginning of May.  

Earlier than ever 

Elizabeth Orme, fruit buyer at Co-op, said: “Marking the start of those warmer days to come, we’re looking forward to offering our members and customers the finest homegrown strawberries earlier than ever.  

“Our partnership with local growers ensures great quality and supports British produce, helping to contribute to the growth of the local farming community, which is something we’re passionate about.”   

Ms Orme added that the transition to 100% British strawberries is part of Co-op’s ongoing commitment to backing British farmers and growers, and providing its member owners and customers with fresh, high-quality home-grown produce.   

Co-op is a supporter of the NFU’s Fruit and Vegetable pledge, forming close working relationships with British farming and the home-grown fresh produce sector – a commitment which has been key to the Co-op’s ambition to replicate the success of the 2023 season.  

Last year Co-op was named ‘Retailer of the Year’ by British Berry Growers for achieving the highest growth in British berry sales with a total increase of 22.1% in volume sales across all berries. 

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