Llyr Huws Gruffydd is urging stores to consider a Cymru Card scheme, which could be linked to existing supermarket loyalty card schemes, for example Tesco and the Cooperative (including Somerfield), on the one hand, or ‘shop local’ cards in different towns. Alternative schemes would be explored with those supermarket groups who do not have a loyalty card scheme, such as Morrisons and Asda.
“Many of the larger stores now offer some form of loyalty point schemes. Points are offered to encourage customers to buy certain produce, such as ‘green points’ for being environmentally friendly, or bonus points for buying Fairtrade products.
“Our suggestion is for a similar system to encourage customers to buy locally produced goods, as well as Welsh produce overall.”
“This would be an excellent way of boosting the local economy by encouraging customers to support Welsh farmers and food producers.”
“A Welsh produce loyalty scheme would have a number of benefits. It would encourage more healthy eating, cut down on food miles, and give local businesses such as farmers and food producers a much needed boost, especially during the present economic difficulties.”
Plaid in government in Wales has already taken action to encourage people to buy Welsh produce. Plaid Minister Elin Jones AM, whose government responsibilities include food and farming, launched the Local Sourcing Action Plan* last year which aims to get more local consumption of locally produced food.
Elin Jones AM said:
"It's good to see original ideas to support Welsh produce. This local initiative could be just the thing to support local food and drink. I'll be interested to watch this develop further"
Plaid Cymru candidate Llyr Huws Gruffydd saw no reason why Wales should not have its own scheme:
“The Irish have a Shamrock scheme where shoppers can earn bonus supermarket loyalty points for buying home-grown goods. The Scots are looking to develop a similar proposal.
“A Welsh equivalent would help keep shoppers focused on buying Welsh produce and would be a shot in the arm for Welsh farmers.
“We are encouraging supermarkets, grocers and producers to work together to explore the creation of our own scheme in Wales.”
Last year, Elin Jones launched the *Local Sourcing Action Plan which aims to get more local consumption of locally produced food - whether it's through public sector contracts, supermarkets or restaurants.
She is also developing policy around Community Food Growing - again, looking at more innovative ways of increasing the amount of food locally produced and consumed.