Retailer says move backs British growers and is a UK retail first

Co-op's British strawberries

Co-op’s British strawberries

The Co-op is moving to 100 per cent British strawberries across its entire own-brand range, claiming a UK retail first in the process.

From 23 April, the convenience chain will exclusively offer only British strawberries for the summer season across its 2,400 UK stores and online.

Co-op said the move represents its commitment to growers after a challenging year for British agriculture featuring difficult weather conditions. This season’s fruit is hitting shelves two weeks ahead of last year and just in time for St George’s Day.

Grown in Kent, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Hereford, Co-op said its growers use measures to mitigate against the weather challenges such as cultivating crops in protected environments to ensure steady growth.

Co-op predicts sales of 1.42m punnets of its own-brand strawberries – selling for £2.50 for 227g – between St George’s Day and the early May bank holiday weekend.

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 home-grown 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.”