The East of England Co-op has seen sales of local produce soar to more than £999,000 during its Sourced Locally Fortnight (2nd – 15th June), a 2.8% increase from last year’s event.
The annual event is held by the East of England Co-op to encourage 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.
Roger Grosvenor, Joint Chief Executive at the East of England Co-op, commented: “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 £1million 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.
Roger added: “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.”
Local businesses to benefit during Sourced Locally Fortnight include Capel Mushrooms, of which 29,581 packs were sold, and Havensfield Happy Hens which sold 30,532 boxes of eggs.
To help shoppers make the switch to local during Sourced Locally Fortnight was a cooked breakfast meal deal. Customers enjoyed Valley Grown tomatoes, Taste of Suffolk bacon, Capel Mushrooms, Havensfield Eggs and Taste of Suffolk sausages for £5. Throughout the fortnight, producers visited East of England Co-op 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 £62million back into the region’s economy.
In celebration of its 150 years in business, the East of England Co-op has a limited edition range available during Sourced Locally Fortnight, including products from Marriage’s flour, Fairfields Farm, Havensfield Eggs, Hadleigh Maid, Calvors Brewery, Fruits of Suffolk and Butterworth & Sons.