Local food fortnight generates over £900,000 for the regional economy

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Following the success of last year’s inaugural campaign, we launched our second Sourced Locally Fortnight (30th May – 12th June) as part of our ongoing commitment to promote local food. The Fortnight saw sales beat last year’s total by 10%, ploughing £913,111 back into the region’s economy.

Offering an enhanced range of locally sourced produce in our stores throughout Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, we also introduced a breakfast promotion to further encourage customers to #KeepItLocal. For just £5 customers could pick up half a dozen large eggs courtesy of Havensfield Eggs, eight sausages and 200g bacon from Taste of Suffolk, a punnet of Ipswich-grown mushrooms and six tomatoes from The Friendly Tomato Company.

Passionate shoppers, keen to support the Sourced Locally initiative, purchased an incredible: 7,267 breakfast deals, 54,000 punnets of local strawberries (up 14% compared to last year); 12,000 bunches of local asparagus (11% more than last year) and 9,000 local products from the Deli-to-Go.

Customers were also able to buy locally sourced key staples including potatoes, milk and bread; plus other delicious items including chocolate, honey, jams and cakes. In addition, we boosted the in-store experience with producer visits and food sampling opportunities to allow shoppers to taste local produce and learn about its journey, from field to fork.

During Sourced Locally Fortnight, we released YouGov research which revealed that whilst 61% of people in East Anglia think it’s important to buy local, only 26% would expect to find local produce in convenience stores. We were keen to highlight our 3,500-strong range of Sourced Locally products, supplied by more than 100 different producers across the region.

“We couldn’t be happier with the success of our second Sourced Locally Fortnight,” comments Roger Grosvenor, the East of England Co-op’s Joint Chief Executive. “It’s clear from our improved sales figures that there is a growing interest in food provenance. We continue to work closely with our producers to help them develop new products to ensure we are improving the choice available to our customers. We are delighted with the reaction from both our customers and suppliers, with many taking to social media to share their support, and look forward to an even more successful Sourced Locally Fortnight in 2017.”

Local produce continues to be a fundamental element of our retail strategy. Since launching our Sourced Locally initiative in 2007, we've invested more than £45 million back into the regional economy. As well as cutting food miles, reducing waste and boosting quality, the initiative has created more than 400 new jobs and safeguarded hundreds more.