M&S is reaffirming its commitment to British farming with the launch of a new four-month ‘Fresh Market Update’ TV and multimedia customer campaign, showcasing the lengths its Select Farm partners go to deliver exceptional quality M&S Food.
The new TV and multimedia campaign will be the retailer’s biggest-ever quality campaign and takes customers behind the scenes at its Select Farms, showcasing the work of farmers up and down the UK.
A total of 19 ads will run across the four-month campaign. Each week M&S will introduce viewers to a different farmer, from Chris Chinn growing the finest single origin seasonal asparagus, to the award winning Davidstow creamery which has produced M&S’s Cornish Cruncher for the last 17 years.
Customers will hear directly from the farmers about the lengths they go to deliver Select Farms quality, with each ad presented by ITV’s Weather Presenter Lucy Verasamy. The ads also include M&S chef Chris Baber who will inspire customers with delicious, seasonal family recipes.
The campaign will reach over 60 per cent of the population throughout its run, highlighting not just M&S’s industry leading standards and quality, but also its great value for a weekly shop, the retailer said.
The TV campaign will run across ITV, Channel 4 and You Tube, and is supported by a monthly in store free What’s Fresh magazine and a bespoke 40-page Fresh publication covering its Select Farms suppliers and the food they produce.
Direct mail, emails, social media, including bespoke ‘meet the farmer’ films will target customers. A regular drumbeat of local stories will be highlighted via the nationwide store-run local Facebook pages, which receive 2 million views per week. An online hub containing farmer stories, recipes, seasonal eating tips and a bee blog will be regularly updated. Customers will also see vibrant in store displays and newly designed packaging to dial up the provenance, quality, and sourcing credentials of its food.
Stuart Machin, managing director of M&S Food said: “We only work with farmers and growers that we know and trust to source our products with the upmost care. As an own-brand food retailer, our founders understood the value in building long-term trusted partnerships and that approach remains central to how we do business today. It’s thanks to our unique supplier relationships that we can deliver on our customer promise of trusted value – with delicious, exceptional quality fresh produce and meat - and in our new campaign we want to show the enormous effort our Select Farm partners put in behind the scenes to make M&S food special.”
Select Farms quality means M&S only works with farmers, growers and producers it knows and trusts to source its products with care - whether that’s the highest animal welfare standards or protecting the natural environment.
To support this aim, M&S has also started a new five-year ‘Farming with Nature’ collaborative programme to support its Select Farmers to become more resilient to the biggest environmental challenges they face – spanning climate change, biodiversity, soil health and water usage.
As part of this, and to support the British bee population, M&S is introducing 30 million bees to 28 UK Select Farm Sites this summer located across the country, from Herefordshire to Hampshire.
Its bee programme can be tracked via an interactive blog on the M&S website.
In addition, from April, M&S will be expanding its RSPCA Assured range to offer more RSPCA Assured products than any other retailer – including all fresh eggs, pork, farmed salmon and farmed trout, Oakham Gold chicken and milk.
M&S already asks all UK growers to be LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Marque certified, but as part of the M&S Farming with Nature programme, growers will now partner with LEAF to deliver a programme of modules for M&S growers.