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Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 04:01 GMT
Patriotic British shoppers 'let down'
Strawberries
Will you buy British strawberries this summer?
Many British shoppers want to buy British food but are often prevented from doing so because shops do not stock home-grown produce, a survey suggests.

According to market analyst Mintel one in five people complained that supermarkets were not carrying enough fresh produce.

As many as three in ten consumers said they would buy more British produce if it were available.

Prince Charles recently urged public bodies, including the army, hospitals, schools, Whitehall and local government to buy more British food.

Buying British

According to the survey, half of shoppers try to buy British when shopping for meat, and a further 44% of adults try to buy British when shopping for fruit and vegetables.

Almost a third took British fish - and nearly a quarter of people say they shop at farmer's markets or farm stores to buy locally grown produce.

Pensioners were most likely to seek out British fruit, vegetables and fish, according to Mintel.

Three quarters of those over 65 would buy British meat.

"Older people are most likely to say that they object to buying fruit and vegetables from other countries and try to buy British mainly because they grew up in a time when produce was mainly British and truly seasonal," said James McCoy, a Mintel analyst.

However, a "core group" of four in 10 adults remain ambivalent about supporting British producers and "do not usually notice" where their food originates from.

The survey questioned 933 people.

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