Tesco has revealed sales of locally sourced products have soared 30 per cent in the calendar year to date.

The grocer initiated a strategy two years ago to ramp up its local produce offer and now stocks products such as East Anglian rapeseed oil, Cornish brie, Hampshire watercress and Northumbrian black-faced lamb. This week its first outdoor crop of Jersey Royal potatoes will go on sale a month earlier than usual.

Tesco executive director Lucy Neville-Rolfe said: “Customers want to know where their food is from and they want to support local businesses. Last summer we sold 5,400 packs of local watercress every week in Hampshire stores – almost twice the national sales figure.”

She added: “Our aim is to ensure that locally sourced produce becomes part of our mainstream offer to all our customers.”