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Support of UK producers ‘vital’ for food businesses, study finds

Waitrose has released its Food & Drink Report 2021 which found that nearly three quarters of people wanted to see more food businesses in the UK express their “ongoing support” for local British producers.

The report was based on OnePoll research of 2,000 people across Britain, not just Waitrose shoppers.

The research showed that 61% of respondents were worried there will be a rise in factory farmed meat coming into the UK if standards of British products are not safeguarded.

The report also showed that a quarter of respondents said they shopped online for food for the first time this year, with one out of ten saying they now shop for food once a fortnight. A further 60% said the changes to shopping habits will “stick”.

In addition, it found that nearly 30% of car-owners have reportedly reduced, or plan to reduce cars in their household, as the need for localism increases.

More than half of respondents said they value food more than pre-Covid, with 70% suggesting they value the role of supermarket workers more and 55% saying their spending habits have changed for good.

Additionally almost two thirds of respondents who got involved with local communities over lockdown said they plan to continue their involvement.

James Bailey, executive director, Waitrose, said: “Our daily rituals, our attitudes towards supermarkets and the way we shop have been fundamentally reshaped by the pandemic. These changes are here to stay. The ‘new normal’ that we all spoke about back in the spring isn’t new anymore. It’s just normal.”

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