Boost for local food campaign

THINK about the last meal you ate. Now try to consider where the food you ate came from.Did you have beef from Scotland, lamb from New Zealand or potatoes from France?Maybe for dessert you had an apple pie made with apples from the US or a chocolate or two all the way from Switzerland.

THINK about the last meal you ate. Now try to consider where the food you ate came from.

Did you have beef from Scotland, lamb from New Zealand or potatoes from France?

Maybe for dessert you had an apple pie made with apples from the US or a chocolate or two all the way from Switzerland.

Well one Wickham Market businessman who is as passionate about Suffolk producers as he is about his food is trying to change all that.

Former website development company employee Patrick Bishopp has launched himself into the food industry by creating Eat Anglia, a home delivery company which brings the best East Anglian producers to the doorsteps of Suffolk consumers.

In a bold bid to get produce grown locally onto Suffolk's dinner tables Mr Bishopp has created a network of 51 producers offering 473 products.

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The produce ranges from ice cream made in Creeting St Mary, fruit juices from Ashbocking and chicken reared at Sutton Hoo to bread baked in Woodbridge and sausages made in Ipswich.

Mr Bishopp, a father-of-two said: "I'm much larger than I thought I would be. I initially anticipated having about 100 or 200 products.

"I was truly impressed by what I could find locally."

Eat Anglia is determined to change consumer habits which see most people opt for the convenience of big name supermarkets where many of the products are imported from overseas or other parts of the UK.

Mr Bishopp, 32, said: "Local food has been an issue for the last three to five years. It's really taken off.

"When you go to farmers' markets they're packed out.

"The reason local food isn't as huge as it should be I really believe is the convenience factor."

He added: "We were struggling to do local food shopping. We said 'why aren't we eating more local food' and it was just a convenience thing.

"The convenience wasn't there so we thought we'd introduce home delivery of local food."

The company takes orders by telephone or on its website and for £4 delivers to any home or business within a twenty mile radius of Woodbridge.

Within three years Mr Bishopp and his wife Sarah hope to have expanded the delivery service to the whole of East Anglia.

Mr Bishopp said: "It's (for) young families like ourselves and busy couples to elderly people in more rural areas who can't get out and about easily.

"We want people to buy the food. If they can't get there we will take it to them.

"Farmers markets are once a fortnight or once a month. What do people do the rest of the time?"

He added: "People are willing to pay for it to come to their front door and know it's good quality."

After launching on February 9 the company already has more than 30 customers and on average they are spending £50 each order.

When Jan Ballard opened Long Spring bed and breakfast in Woods Lane, Melton, this year she wanted to give her visitors the total Suffolk experience.

So when she met Mr Bishopp and heard about Eat Anglia she quickly became one of its first customers and is now ordering a weekly delivery.

Mrs Ballard said: "I wanted every part of the bed and breakfast to be quality.

"It's always nice to go to the farm shops but when you've got a busy business you don't have the time.

"I think having locally produced food is hugely important to the visitors."

Weblink: www.eatanglia.co.uk

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