East of England Co-operative Society has launched its second Sourced Locally Fortnight as new figures show Britain’s rising interest in locally-grown produce.
Sourced Locally Fortnight runs from 30 May – 12 June and East of England Co-operative has marked the occasion by commissioning research from YouGov. The results show that 71% of Brits think it’s important that the food they eat is produced in the UK, and 70% believe it’s important that the food is produced locally.
There is also evidence of growing demand. One in three people have bought local produce in the past two weeks.
East of England Co-operative Society – East Anglia’s largest independent retailer – has been running its Sourced Locally initiative since 2007. It works with more than 100 local producers to offer over 3,500 products in store. Since 2007, it has helped put £45m back into the local economy through payments to suppliers. In 2015 alone, sales reached £16.8m.
Last year, it launched Sourced Locally Fortnight to help raise the initiative’s profile, based around ‘the three Ps’: profit for the food supplier; profit for the co-op; and a fair price for the customer.
Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive at the East of England Co-op, said: “We want to shine a spotlight on local farmers and producers to encourage more shoppers to consciously buy local produce. By shopping locally, people are helping to bring additional money into their local economy and safeguarding local jobs, whilst reducing food miles.”
Emanuele Giovannetti, professor of economics at Anglia Ruskin University, added: “It’s encouraging to see people’s awareness of food miles in the UK is growing, with 44% saying that lower mileage would encourage them to buy locally sourced produce, up from just 36% in 2015.
“It’s clear there’s a growing demand for local produce. This is a call to action for retailers to listen to local communities and give people what they want.”
- During Sourced Locally Fortnight, East of England Co-operative is encouraging shoppers to swap at least one everyday item for a locally-produced alternative, and to share what they’ve tried using the #KeepItLocal hashtag.