East of England: Co-op invites public to vote for Supplier of the Year

SIX food producers across the region are in the running to be named as the East of England Co-operative Society’s first Supplier of the Year.

Winners will be selected from Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, with members of the public invited to vote for their favourite from a shortlist of two candidates chosen from each county.

The county winners will share in a prize package worth several thousands of pounds, with an overall winner receiving further help including marketing and public relations support.

On the shortlist in Suffolk are A J Sturgeon of Lodge Farm, Lindsey, near Hadleigh, which supplies the Co-op with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, runner beans and Christmas trees, and C&K Meats, based in Eye, which supplies lamb, beef, pork, bacon and chicken, sourced from local farms.

Battling it out in Essex are Fairfields Farms at Wormingford, near Colchester, which supplies potatoes and its owner range of potato crisps, and Ken Green Fish Merchants of Clacton-on-Sea, which supplies a range of fresh and smoked fish.

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And completing the line-up are the Norfolk finalists, Norwich-based Pastry Cutters, which supplies pies, sausage rolls, quiches, cakes, snacks and sweets, and R Tacon & Son of Rollesby, near Great Yarmouth, which supplies asparagus, strawberries and potatoes.

Kevin Warden, local sourcing manager for the society, said: “These awards provide a fantastic opportunity for our members and customers to have a say in who is their favourite Sourced Locally suppliers.

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“We enjoy working in partnership with every one of our suppliers and this provides an opportunity to celebrate and highlight their achievements over the year.”

For further details about the shortlisted suppliers and to vote for your favourite, go to www.eastofengland.coop/supplier2012 .

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