Asda is testing a food delivery scheme that it claims will cut 3 million “food miles” a year if it is rolled out across its UK stores.
The two-month pilot, which is being launched in Cornwall, will allow farmers to deliver their produce directly to stores in the county, rather than sending it via a distribution centre, which could be hundreds of miles away.
The supermarket has invited three farms to take part in an initial scheme. The farms will supply the local stores with fresh goods such as strawberries and potatoes, which will be labelled “Produce of Cornwall”.
Asda says that the scheme will cut 6,000 food miles a month from the supply chain despite only being a localised trial. It expects to see a much larger figure if the scheme is rolled out across the country.
Asda head of ethical and sustainable sourcing Chris Brown says: “We’ll minimise the impact on the environment and ensure our fruit and vegetables are as fresh as possible.”
Asda has recently introduced a series of measures aimed at cutting carbon emissions, including a switch to bio-diesel and a shift to moving more freight by train. It has also increased direct deliveries of locally produced goods as consumers have become more interested in provenance issues.
The next range to appear will feature more than 60 products branded “Locally produced in Sussex” at stores in the county.