East of England Co-op launches Sourced Locally Awards to celebrate producers and colleagues going the extra mile during the coronavirus crisis

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Customers will vote for Producer of the Year and Store of the Year 2021 in recognition of local suppliers’ and colleagues’ incredible efforts to keep baskets full despite unprecedented challenges.

The East of England Co-op today, Monday 21 June, launches its Sourced Locally Awards - communities across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex will decide who should be crowned champions.

The awards, which form part of the community retailer’s annual Sourced Locally Fortnight campaign (21 June-4 July), will celebrate the amazing efforts of local producers and colleagues during the pandemic to meet unprecedented demand and support local communities.

The Sourced Locally Awards recognise outstanding food and drink producers with a coveted Producer of the Year accolade up for grabs, and East of England Co-op stores that have gone the extra mile to champion local produce with the Store of the Year award. Normally the winner is selected by external judges and customer votes. However, due to the pandemic and the monumental challenges it created for local producers and colleagues, the East of England Co-op has decided to run this year’s awards differently.

This year, the winners will be decided exclusively by public votes, providing an opportunity for the retailer's customers to recognise those producers and store colleagues who have gone above and beyond for the region during the crisis. Voting opens online at www.eastofengland.coop/sourcedlocally on Monday 21 June and closes on 25 July 2021.

East of England Co-op Joint Chief Executive Roger Grosvenor said: “Our Sourced Locally Awards are a wonderful way to celebrate the hard work, huge passion and outstanding commitment of our local producers and store colleagues all year round to provide our customers with the highest quality food and drink.

“This year’s awards are even more special, in that they come after a year of extreme difficulty, both for our customers, colleagues and our local producers – who have faced unprecedented demand compounded by immense logistical challenges. That’s why we decided to do things a little differently and ask communities exclusively to choose their champions.

“Our finalists have gone above and beyond, showed that they care, worked around the clock, and come up with innovative solutions at lightning speed to ensure shoppers didn’t go without. I encourage all our customers to vote – they are all such worthy winners, and we cannot thank them enough for supporting communities through these extraordinary times.”

The six Producer of the Year finalists are:

Havensfield Eggs

Shortlisted for: Streamlining supply to direct higher volume of product to stores

When egg sales soared, it coincided with a challenging time in the business’s production cycle and the threat of avian influenza, but it went the extra mile to keep our customers satisfied.


Shortlisted for: Starting production of hand sanitiser for shoppers and colleagues

It first made its mark with Chinese curry sauce concentrate, but during the pandemic Keejays pulled out all the stops to start producing much-needed hand-sanitiser to assist in protecting our colleagues and customers.

W & H Marriage & Sons Ltd

Shortlisted for: Streamlining supply to direct higher volume of product to stores

Home baking provided huge comfort and distraction to many during the pandemic – and one company, W & H Marriage & Sons Ltd, rose to the challenge of keeping up supplies.

Rymer Farm

Shortlisted for: Support as a new supplier during limited availability of certain products

Prior to the pandemic, Rymer Farm was not an East of England Co-op supplier, but the egg producing business stepped in to help fill shelves that were emptying fast.

The Taste of Suffolk

Shortlisted for: Introducing a new range of burgers to increase supply to stores

With demand for barbecue products sizzling during lockdown, The Taste of Suffolk decided to launch a new range of burgers for customers to enjoy at home, along with their other ranges of cooked and raw products.

Wicks Manor

Shortlisted for: Increasing deliveries and range to meet the rise in demand

The lockdown did not hinder the farm to fork pork processing business, Wicks Manor. Not only did they manage to keep things ticking over but also increase deliveries and range for shoppers.

The six Store of the Year finalists are:

All six stores have been nominated for their outstanding efforts championing local food and drink over the past year.

  • Costessey, Norfolk
  • Framlingham, Suffolk
  • Woodbridge, Suffolk
  • Lavenham, Suffolk
  • Manningtree, Essex
  • Sible Hedingham, Essex