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

From April 23, the leading convenience retailer will exclusively offer only 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. 

The move is in response to Co-op committing to growers earlier than ever and move its entire range to British before any other retailers, following a challenging year for British agriculture as a result of unfavourable weather conditions.   

Grown in Kent, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Hereford, 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 for 227g) between April 23 and the bank holiday weekend (May 4 to May 5).  

Fruit buyer at Co-op, Elizabeth Orme, 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.”  

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 one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services.

Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates almost 2,400 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,000 other stores, including those run by independent cooperative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited.   

Co-op is a proud 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 Co-op’s ambition to replicate the success of the 2023 season. 

Employing almost 60,000 people, Co-op has an annual turnover of over £11 billion and is a recognised leader for its sustainability, social goals and community-led programmes.

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.