The East of England Co-operative was the big winner at the Hermes Retail Week Supply Chain Awards on 29 September, taking home the Hermes Grand Prix Award.
The retailer was put in the running for the award after winning the Arrow XL Collaboration Award for its Sourced Locally initiative. This award recognises genuine collaboration across supply chains, either between one retailer and another or retailers and their suppliers. The awards consist of 13 different categories, with the winner of each then considered for the Grand Prix Award.
The Sourced Locally initiative began in 2007, and East of England now works with 100 local producers across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, providing customers with a wide variety of locally sourced products. Since then, East of England has witnessed a 15% increase in sales of local food and drink, amounting to a total of £16.8m in the last financial year.
Over the past nine years the co-op has invested £45m back into the regional economy and created 400 jobs. The supplier-partner relationship was also aimed at giving local supplier confidence to invest in new premises, equipment, product development and apprenticeships.
Commenting on the Awards, Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive at the East of England Co-op, said: “The Sourced Locally initiative underpins the belief that whilst profit is vital to every business, organisations can do well and do good.
“We really care about our producers and suppliers and the importance of this relationship is embedded in the whole ethos of the company. We work directly to make sure they are treated as equal partners and that their businesses have a sustainable future.”