The South African president has asked for a tour of Sainsbury’s – the first time a visiting head of state has requested an official tour of a British supermarket.

President Zuma will visit Sainsbury’s Greenwich branch because of his interests in the retailer’s green credentials, as well as its strong trading links with South Africa, according to Sainsbury’s.

The value of goods the retailer sources from the country is expected to increase by 10% during this year, to more than £100m.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King will welcome President Zuma and Mrs Zuma to Sainsbury’s most eco-friendly store. The President is on a State Visit in the UK as guests of The Queen.

The 35,000 sq ft store opened in 1999, with features including wind turbines and electric car recharge points.

King said: “We have strong links with South Africa, so we’re delighted to welcome the President and Mrs Zuma to our store in Greenwich.

“We’re proud of what we have achieved at this store. It has acted as a blueprint for many of our subsequent environmental stores, so it is apt that the first state visit to a British supermarket should happen here.”