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East Anglia Future 50

Retailer's 'Sourced Locally Fortnight' sees sales soar to nearly £1m

PUBLISHED: 10:08 25 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:08 25 June 2018

East of England Co-op local supplier Fergus Howie of Wicks Manor Picture: ASHLEY PICKERING/ANGLIA PICTURE AGENCY

East of England Co-op local supplier Fergus Howie of Wicks Manor Picture: ASHLEY PICKERING/ANGLIA PICTURE AGENCY

Anglia Picture Agency

Sales of local produce fortnight at a regional retail chain soared during its annual Sourced Locally Fortnight from June 2 to 15.

The East of England Co-op said local produce sales hit £999,000, representing a 2.8% rise on last year’s event.

The initiative is aimed at encouraging shoppers to enjoy a ‘feast from the East’ and support local businesses by buying local. More than 57,000 punnets of local strawberries and over 10,000 bunches of asparagus were sold during the fortnight, which comes as the East of England Co-op celebrates a landmark 150 years of co-operation this year.

Joint chief executive Roger Grosvenor said: “Swapping one thing in your basket for something local is a no brainer, as we are so lucky to have great-tasting, fresh food on our doorsteps.

“It has been wonderful to see our customers make an extra effort to shop local and support the region’s economy during Sourced Locally Fortnight this year. Generating nearly £1m for the local economy in just a fortnight gives us another reason to celebrate during our pivotal 150th year.”

To celebrate 150 years in business this Sourced Locally Fortnight, the East of England Co-op teamed up with local food historian Monica Askay, who delivered talks in local primary schools about how local food has evolved and the importance of shopping locally.

“Local produce not only benefits our local economy and reduces our food miles, but it is affordable and delicious. We are proud to support over 100 hard-working local suppliers that stock our stores with thousands of fantastic produce,” said Mr Grosvenor.

Among the local producers to benefit were Capel Mushrooms, which saw 29,581 packs sold, and Havensfield Eggs which saw 30,532 boxes of eggs shifting off shelves.

Customers also enjoyed a cooked breakfast meal deal with Valley Grown tomatoes, Taste of Suffolk bacon, Capel Mushrooms, Havensfield Eggs and Taste of Suffolk sausages for £5, and producers visited the retailer’s food stores to showcase their produce and offer samples. Sourced Locally was created by the East of England Co-op in 2007 to support local producers and has since ploughed £62m back into the region’s economy.

A limited edition range available during the fortnight included products including Marriage’s flour and Fairfields Farm.

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