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Free range egg firm and pesto producer named as food award finalists

Havensfield Eggs is in the running for the East of England Co-op�s Producer of the Year 2018. Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND CO-OP

Havensfield Eggs is in the running for the East of England Co-op�s Producer of the Year 2018. Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND CO-OP

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A free range egg company and a handmade sauce producer are in the running for an annual award.

Purely Pesto is in the running for the East of England Co-op�s Producer of the Year 2018. Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND CO-OPPurely Pesto is in the running for the East of England Co-op�s Producer of the Year 2018. Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND CO-OP

Suffolk producers Havensfield Eggs and Purely Pesto will compete for votes against other regional firms in the East of England Co-op’s Producer of the Year Awards 2018.

Throughout January, Co-op members and customers are being asked to back their local producers as part of the annual competition in its sixth year.

Also shortlisted are Gnaw Chocolate and Buxton Potatoes, in Norfolk, and Wicks Manor (pork products) and Ken Green Fish Merchants, in Essex.

Three county champions will be selected from the region, before a panel of food and farming experts visit each in February to choose a winner announced at the Co-op’s ‘supplier supper’ in March.

Havensfield Eggs is in the running for the East of England Co-op�s Producer of the Year 2018. Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND CO-OPHavensfield Eggs is in the running for the East of England Co-op�s Producer of the Year 2018. Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND CO-OP

Joint chief executive Roger Grosvenor said: “Food provenance is incredibly important to the East of England Co-op and we are proud to stock hundreds of fantastic producers from across the region as part of our Sourced Locally campaign.

“I would like to urge everyone to take two minutes to vote and show your support for some of Suffolk’s best-loved food businesses.”

Fiona Brice, who runs Havensfield Eggs with husband Alaistaire, swears by her motto that “a Havensfield happy hen equals an excellent egg”.

She said: “Here at Havensfield Eggs, high standards are at the forefront of everything we do.

Purely Pesto is in the running for the East of England Co-op�s Producer of the Year 2018. Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND CO-OPPurely Pesto is in the running for the East of England Co-op�s Producer of the Year 2018. Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND CO-OP

“The welfare of the chickens is paramount to us, they are part of our family and here, both the chicken and the egg come first.”

Gavin Battle, of Purely Pesto, which also produces hummus, soups and dips, said: “At Purely Pesto we are proud to say that we source all our ingredients locally, with basil leaves from Essex, peashoots nurtured in Norfolk, rapeseed oil from Hillfarm, in Halesworth, and most recently, wild garlic for our new wild garlic pesto, foraged in Suffolk.”

More than 19,000 votes were cast in 2017, when Coggeshall’s Great Tilkey Honey won the award.

Michael Coe, who set up the firm with wife Deborah, said: “Producer of the Year promotes the best food suppliers in East Anglia and I encourage the public to vote for their favourite.”

Michael Coe, of Great Tilkey Honey, named the East of England Co-op’s Producer of the Year 2017. Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND CO-OPMichael Coe, of Great Tilkey Honey, named the East of England Co-op’s Producer of the Year 2017. Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND CO-OP

Votes can be cast online and in stores. Everyone who votes will be entered into a draw for £150 of shopping vouchers.

To find out more, visit eastofengland.coop/poty2018.

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