Local producers gain almost £1M from Co-op scheme

More than 60,000 strawberry punnets were sold over the two weeks

Local businesses in the east of England saw sales rise to £972,050 during the Co-op’s Sourced Locally Fortnight.

More than 60,000 punnets of strawberries and almost 7,000 bunches of asparagus were sold between June 5 and 18, the East of England Co-op said. Colchester-based Fairfields Farm Crisps sold 11,560 packets during the event, while Suffolk’s St Peter’s Brewery sold 4,833 bottles of beer.

The East of England Co-op joint chief executive Roger Grosvenor said: “In true co-operative spirit, colleagues and producers across the region have come together over the past fortnight to talk about the importance of ‘shopping local’. That hard work has paid off and the figures speak for themselves.

‘Focused on the future’

“The Sourced Locally initiative has gone from strength-to-strength over the past 10 years, and we are proud to be keeping money in our regional economy and improving choice for our customers. It has been fantastic to celebrate 10 years of Sourced Locally, but our heads are now firmly focused on the future and our continued commitment to championing East Anglian produce.”

The Sourced Locally initiative encouraged shoppers to swap one item in their basket for a locally-produced product. Local producers highlighted their products at Co-op stores across the region.

Since the event was introduced in 2007, the Co-op has generated about £57M for the region’s economy, it said. The scheme helped to create 400 new jobs in the region, and turnover for local produce topped £17.5M last year, the Co-op added.

400 new jobs

More than 200,000 food miles have been cut since the initiative started, and food waste has been reduced.

More than 3,500 products are available in the Co-op’s Locally Sourced range, from more than 100 suppliers across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

Meanwhile, in March, supply chain standards organisation GS1 revealed local British food and drink saw a boost over the past year.

The Co-op Sourced Locally Fortnight – at a glance
  • £972,050 in sales from locally-produced products
  • 60,000 punnets of strawberries sold
  • 7,000 bunches of asparagus sold
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