East Anglia: Tastes of Anglia chair ‘very positive’ about trade arm sale deal

Robert Gunn, Chairman of Tastes of Anglia, holds some of their member’s products.

Robert Gunn, Chairman of Tastes of Anglia, holds some of their members products. - Credit: Archant

The chairman of Tastes of Anglia (TOA) has welcomed the sale of the organisation’s trading arm to Elveden Farms Ltd as “a very positive move” for producers and customers.

New owner Elveden Farms Ltd already operates a successful local food distribution service known as Elveden Food Hub, which supplies two multiple retailers and smaller customers throughout East Anglia. The firm, which is owned by Guinness heir the Earl of Iveagh, will be taking the trading arm of TOA to its Elveden base.

Meanwhile, Tastes of Anglia’s membership-funded regional food group, set up to promote East Anglian food, will become a separate enterprise, and continues to operate under the name under licence from Elveden. Its board will be meeting on November 7 to discuss its future.

Its current office at Witnesham, near Ipswich, will be shutting, but it is hoped that the 300-strong member organisation can be revitalised following the sale, said Tastes of Anglia chairman Robert Gunn.

He added that individual talks were taking place with the six part-time staff employed by the not-for-profit local produce organisation, two of whom are part of the membership arm.

Mr Gunn said: “There is excellent synergy with existing Elveden businesses. They have the resources to develop the company further and we are delighted that they will continue to use the Tastes of Anglia brand,” he said.

“Having secured the future of the trading company the board will be assessing the future of the TOA membership organisation.

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“We are keen to revitalise the organisation and take it forward to mirror the success of similar groups in other parts of the country. In the coming weeks the board will assess how this can best be achieved.”

Three months ago, the board asked Mr Gunn and other members to move into the day to day business to assess the best way to take the distribution operation forward.

“The sale to Elveden is the conclusion of that process. The feedback from producer members and customers to date has been unanimously positive,” said Mr Gunn.