Fairfields Farm named Producer of the Year 2016
Fairfields Farm has been crowned the East of England Co-op’s Producer of the Year for 2016 in the retailer’s annual awards, celebrating the best of local food and drink across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
The announcement was made at our annual Supplier Supper last night (17th March), with owners Robert and Laura Strathern collecting their award in front of over 200 fellow producers, partners and friends of the retailer’s Sourced Locally initiative.
The fresh potato and home-cooked crisp producers made it through to the final round, along with Havensfield Eggs in Suffolk and Wendy’s House Cakes in Norfolk, after receiving almost 4,000 votes from East of England Co-op members and customers.
The panel of judges, including Terry Hunt, Polly Robinson and Emma Crowhurst, selected Fairfields Farm as the overall Producer of the Year after meeting with the three finalists. They were asked to consider a number of criteria including innovation, performance and demonstration of true co-operative spirit.
Fairfields Farm has been supplying East of England Co-op stores for over eight years. This was their second time in the final round, missing out on the top spot in 2015 to Cornerway’s Nursery in Norfolk.
Roger Grosvenor, Joint Chief Executive for the East of England Co-op said: “Following another exciting year for Sourced Locally, it was an honour to present Robert and Laura with their much deserved award. They’ve been truly supportive of the Sourced Locally initiative and are a great example of the genuine partnerships we strive to build with all of our local producers.
“My congratulations also go to Havensfield Eggs, Wendy’s House Cakes and our runners-up who all received a fantastic number of votes from our members and customers this year and should all be very proud of their achievements. It’s down to all of our producer partners that Sourced Locally continues to be a success, giving our customers access to great local food and drink.”
Since 2007 the East of England Co-op has ploughed over £45.4million back into the regional economy, creating over 400 local jobs and protecting many more. Its Sourced Locally range has grown from a few suppliers to over 100, bringing thousands of local products into stores.