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East Anglia Future 50

Eggs. strawberries and potatoes `most likely' to be bought

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 June 2016

Keep it Local logo

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Suffolk beats the nation in supporting local producers

Patrick HearnePatrick Hearne

Suffolk shoppers really are supportng Shop Local.

The latest figures from YouGov show that Suffolk is better than Britain as a whole when it comes to supporting local producers, with an impressive 36% of respondents saying they had bought local produce in the last week.

This compares to a national figure of only 25%, Norfolk came top in the region with 42%, followed by Essex at 28%.

The research, commissioned by the East of England Co-op, shows that whilst only 52% of Brits think it is important that they buy locally sourced produce (down from 66% in 2015) a fantastic 59% of Suffolk respondents think it is important.

Havensfield EggsHavensfield Eggs

However, there is still much to do; only 29% of those in Suffolk would expect to buy local produce in a convenience store.

The East of England Co-op is keen to highlight that it is a strong supporter of local producers, with over 2,000 locally sourced products available in their stores and a whopping £11 million having been ploughed back into the local economy last year.

To encourage more shoppers to buy local produce the East of England Co-op is running Sourced Locally Fortnight (May 30 – June 12).

The initiative highlights the benefits of buying local produce: bringing additional money into the local economy, creating and safe guarding local jobs, whilst reducing food miles and providing fresh and tasty produce from local farmers and suppliers.

Free range Havensfield chickensFree range Havensfield chickens

Other figures from the research show that:

• Eggs (67%), strawberries (64%) and potatoes (62%) top the list of products Suffolk respondents would be most likely to buy if a locally sourced alternative was available.

• In Suffolk 9% stated that family influenced their opinion on whether it is important for Brits to buy locally sourced produce, compared to a national figure of 15% and 25% in Norfolk.

• 38% of people in Suffolk would be most likely to buy asparagus if a locally sourced alternative was available and 51% tomatoes.

Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive at East of England Co-op said: “During Sourced Locally Fortnight we want to shine a spotlight on local farmers and producers across Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk, to encourage more shoppers to consciously buy local produce. A host of activities are planned to showcase the quality, provenance and great value of produce from East Anglia and we’d like to encourage everyone to #KeepItLocal.”

Alaistaire and Fiona Brice, owners of the Havensfield Eggs, Hoxne in Suffolk, are firm believers that ‘delicious eggs come from happy hens’. The rate at which their company’s free range eggs have grown in demand in East of England Co-op stores is proof enough that they are producing great local products people love.

Fiona said: “We make it easy for our hens to follow their natural instincts and to jump, run and fly around to their hearts’ content. They have access to feed and water at all times with pop holes through to fields in which they range by day. We also let them listen to the radio! We keep it on all the time so there is always some background noise. This minimises any stress when we clean them out, feed them, or if there are any loud noises.”

Another local producer linking up with the Co-op is Capel Mushrooms, the organic mushroom producer at Capel St Mary.

The family business, run by brothers Patrick and Damian Hearne, dates back to the 1960s and now supplies fresh mushrooms daily for sale to shops across the region.

For further details visit www.eastofengland.coop/sourcedlocally

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