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Country News - 2002

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CPRE raps supermarkets over "local" food sales
Tuesday 07 May

THE Council for the Preservation of Rural England is demanding that supermarkets should sell more much more locally produced food - and should make clear to customers exactly what "local" means.

Whilst singling out one small local chain for praise - Booth's - a CPRE investigation has shown that amongst ten supermarket chains, including the six biggest, there was no policy at all for buying and selling local produce.

And there was no accepted definition as to what "local" actually meant - a shortcoming that could be put right, says the report, by using the word to cover only food produced within 30 miles of the point of sale.

"Our proposed targets are realistic and will help to bring greater benefits for local economies," says the CPRE's Sophie Spencer.

The supermarket chains have been under attack for years for putting small local food shops out of businesses and paring their payments to suppliers to the bone. The Government's Curry report into the foot and mouth disaster also called for the sale of more local food products.
  • The CPRE singled out for praise the North West based Booth's - "a chain which covers only part of England, appears to be the supermarket group most engaged with local foods." Booth's has stores in Settle, Ilkley and Kirkby Lonsdale.

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