A campaign to persuade supermarkets to stock local produce has received high profile backing from the Prince of Wales.

Prince Charles has consistently shown interest in agricultural and environmental issues, running an organic farm at his Highgrove estate and criticising GM crop development. His backing of the new report echoes a rural action plan he unveiled earlier this year in a bid to boost the fortunes of market towns and the countryside in the aftermath of the foot and mouth crisis.

The new report and campaign, attempts to highlight the benefits to local farmers and businesses and the UK economy in promoting home grown and locally produced food. Local sourcing also makes sense for big businesses in reducing distribution costs.

The report was devised by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) food industry body, after research showed that shoppers dislike aspects of global food production. They also reported that customers increasingly want to know how food is produced and where it comes from.

Prince Charles has stressed that connecting local producers with consumers creates a vital link.