The Co-operative is giving £5 million to British farmers who supply its own-brand fresh meat, poultry and milk.
The supermarket giant said the money will go to its farming groups, which were launched with the aim of backing British farmers, maintain its animal welfare policies and encourage long-term investment in training and sustainability.
Steve Murrells, chief executive of food retail of the Co-operative Group, said: “The Co-operative has a long history of supporting the UK’s farming industry, and is committed to backing British farmers by continuing to work closely with them to drive quality, consistency and value.
“Our farming groups initiative has been a resounding success and these farmers, who are just as passionate about British meat, poultry and milk as we are, and are committed to our standards for quality, health and welfare, are starting to reap their just rewards.
“The scheme has delivered significant benefits to the farmers, The Co-operative and its customers, and ensures our fresh British protein and milk is delivered to the highest standards possible.”
NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “The Co-operative’s launch last year of five farming groups for beef, lamb and poultry suppliers has been a positive step for the industry.
“Producer groups like these foster stronger relationships with the farmers involved and ensure that retailers are able to provide more consistent products for consumers, which in turn, guarantees more British food on more British plates. It is good to see the Co-operative rewarding their producers for their achievements against the standards set last year.”