Local produce sales hit roof during retailer’s two-week drive

East of England Co-op held its annual Sourced Locally Fortnight promoting local produce

East of England Co-op Sourced Locally Fortnight 2021 netted more than £1m in local produce sales - Credit: East of England Co-op

A campaign to promote East Anglian produce has taken their sales to record levels across the region.

East of England Co-op said local foodstuffs flew off its shelves — beating a £1m target for its latest Sourced Locally Fortnight.

The annual campaign set a new record as shoppers spent £10k more on local produce across stores in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex than they did during the retailer’s last Sourced Locally Fortnight in 2019.

Last year’s campaign asking customers to consider swapping named-brand products for local alternatives was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic but went ahead as planned this year from June 21 to July 4.

Despite the pared-back nature of the drive, shoppers still got behind it as more than 100 of the retail chain’s regional suppliers saw their brands promoted. Thousands of their products packed the shelves including fruit and vegetables, jams and chutneys, to meats, fish, pies, fruit juices and wines.

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The chain’s joint boss Roger Grosvenor said: “Once again, we have exceeded the £1m mark for our Sourced Locally Fortnight and we’re absolutely thrilled to have set a new record in 2021 after a year that has presented immense challenges for everyone — our passionate and hard-working local producers, our dedicated teams and our loyal customers. 

“We couldn’t have achieved this fantastic result without the determination and commitment of colleagues across our co-op, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to them for their continued hard work.

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“We are immensely proud of our Sourced Locally Fortnight initiative, which has been celebrating the fantastic, fresh produce right here on our doorstep over the last 14 years, generating millions of pounds for East Anglia’s economy, helping to create and safeguard hundreds of jobs, and reducing food miles.

“This year, we have seen – more than ever – how crucial our local suppliers are; they have worked tirelessly around the clock to meet unprecedented levels of demand, helping to keep our shelves stocked and our customers’ baskets filled in extremely difficult circumstances.”

The enthusiasm showed customers’ increasing desire for local provenance, more choice and to support the region economically as well as their huge appreciation for local producers, he said.

The East of England Co-op also launched its annual Sourced Locally Awards celebrating outstanding food and drink producers. The Producer of the Year will be selected by customer votes. To vote visit eastofengland.coop/sourcedlocally until July 25.

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