// M&S launches 6-week TV, digital & in-store campaign to encourage support for British farmers
// New sales initiatives in place to support farmers including 100% British meat food box & new bedding plants
// M&S to address challenges facing farmers due to hospitality lockdown – confirming commitment to Milk Pledge price promise
Marks & Spencer is set to launch a campaign that aims to champion the efforts of British farmers amidst the coronavirus pandemic and encourage more support for them.
The six week campaign will span TV, social and in-store and will bring British farmers and growers at the forefront for customers.
It will also highlight M&S’s ongoing commitments to sourcing meat, farmed fish, poultry, dairy, fruit and veg, and horticulture from nearly 10,000 farmers across the UK.
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With travel restrictions in place, M&S is using “farmer cam” footage on its website and social channels with interviews from farmers and growers.
M&S will air newly re-edited versions of its Fresh Market Update TV series following ITV’s 6.30pm news every Monday to Thursday, which go behind the scenes at select farms.
The high street stalwart will also shine a spotlight on British products across its stores with new décor and signage in place.
“Despite the enormous challenges they are facing, our family of 10,000 British farmers are supporting us to deliver fantastic quality, fresh food for our customers, so we want to do our bit to support them,” M&S Food managing director Stuart Machin said.
“That is why we are standing by our long-standing British sourcing commitments, introducing new initiatives to tackle the problems our agricultural sector faces, and – through our new campaign – reminding customers of the incredible food our nation’s farmers produce.”
In response to the challenges facing the farming community, M&S has also written to major farming unions and government departments over the last week.
The letter encourages the UK Government to address wider industry challenges around milk volumes and the supply of labour in produce, and outlines M&S’s plans to support each agricultural sector, such as dairy and beef farmers, who are facing mounting pressures as sales in the hospitality industry have plunged by almost 60 per cent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
These commitments include paying a fair price for milk through the Milk Pledge, whereby M&S said it would always purchase the volume it has committed to regardless of customer demand.
Other commitments will see M&S introducing new initiatives to help farmers sell excess volumes, such as a 100 per cent British meat food box for online delivery and the introduction of new bedding plants in-stores and online.