MP for Devizes Danny Kruger has called on supermarkets to highlight the very best of British produce by incorporating a ‘Buy British’ section online.
Mr Kruger signed an open letter, penned by Dr Luke Evans MP and supported by 110 cross-party MPs, citing consumer choice, environmental benefits and support for farmers as reasons to make the change.
The ‘Buy British’ tab would collate produce from across the UK so customers have greater power in their choices, enabling them to support the nation’s farmers quickly and easily.
The MPs say the change could be achieved ‘by the click of a mouse’, with many shops already labelling British products, therefore the online change is simply bringing the produce to the fore in a 'one-stop online shop' for the public to better identify homegrown produce.
Mr Kruger said: "I was delighted to call on our supermarkets to make this change to support British farmers. As the MP for a rural constituency I'm very conscious of the difficulties faced by the farming community, and of the wider issue of food security.
"Buying British is one commitment we can all make, to support local food providers and to reduce the impact on the climate. As well as that, we know the public wants to know more about where their food comes from and how it is produced.
"I firmly believe consumers should be encouraged to buy locally-sourced and locally-reared produce wherever possible. This simple change to a webpage will make home-grown food easily identifiable and I fully support the campaign."
Farmers face an expensive harvest as domestic weather records – the driest February in 30 years, hottest June ever recorded and a notably wet July – as well as high import costs for energy, fuel and fertiliser threaten positive yields and profits.
The open letter champions the work of Britain’s farmers in ensuring food security, supporting strong local economies and preserving and protecting the environment, while empowering the public to be able to make easy choices in how they shop for their food.
Dr Luke Evans, Member of Parliament for Bosworth, said “The ‘Buy British’ section is a small and clear change which shows support for our farmers while allowing consumers to make an easy, informed choice.
“Farmers say the best way to support them is simple: buy British produce. Supermarkets are keen to support our food producers and we know the public want to play their part, but this easy signposting doesn’t currently exist for millions of people who do their food shop online.
“Buying British is good for local food producers, good for the environment and good for consumer choice. It’s a win all round.”
Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers Union, said “We have been asking retailers to commit to signposting British produce for a number of years, so it’s great to see MPs and their constituents getting behind the idea of a ‘Buy British tab’ online.
“We know from our own independent survey that 86% of the public want to buy more British food, but it is often tricky to determine what products are produced in the UK and this simple change would help the shoppers do that.”