Following the success of last year’s inaugural campaign, East of England Co-operative celebrated its second Sourced Locally Fortnight from 30 May to 12 June. The Fortnight saw sales beat last year’s total by 10%, meaning £913,111 was ploughed back into the area’s local economy.
The society’s Sourced Locally range forms part of its ongoing commitment to promote local food, and sees a 3,500-strong range of products supplied by more than 100 different producers across the region in its stores throughout Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.
During Sourced Locally Fortnight, East of England released YouGov research which revealed that while 61% of people in East Anglia think it’s important to buy local, only 26% would expect to find local produce in convenience stores.
During the Fortnight, East of England introduced a breakfast promotion to further encourage customers to #KeepItLocal. For £5 customers could pick up half a dozen large eggs courtesy of Havensfield Eggs, eight sausages and 200g bacon from Taste of Suffolk, a punnet of Ipswich-grown mushrooms and six tomatoes from The Friendly Tomato Company. Over the two weeks, shoppers bought 7,267 breakfast deals; 54,000 punnets of local strawberries (up 14% compared to last year); 12,000 bunches of local asparagus (11% more than last year) and 9,000 local products from the Deli-to-Go.
“We couldn’t be happier with the success of our second Sourced Locally Fortnight,” said Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive of East of England Co-op.
“It’s clear from our improved sales figures that there is a growing interest in food provenance. We continue to work closely with our producers to help them develop new products to ensure we are improving the choice available to our customers. We are delighted with the reaction from both our customers and suppliers, with many taking to social media to share their support, and look forward to an even more successful Sourced Locally Fortnight in 2017.”
Since launching the Sourced Locally initiative in 2007, the society has invested over £45m in the regional economy. As well as cutting food miles, reducing waste and boosting quality, the society says the initiative has created more than 400 new jobs and safeguarded hundreds more.