East of England Co-op has beaten the £1m sales target for the Sourced Locally Fortnight – its annual campaign to celebrates the region’s producers.
The promotion, which ran between 21 June and 4 July, brought a sales increase of £10,000 on the previous campaign in 2019, when sales exceeded £1m for the first time since the two-week initiative’s launch in 2007. Last year’s campaign was postponed because of the pandemic
The campaign asks customers to swap named-brand products for local alternatives from more than 100 suppliers, with thousands of products made available, ranging from fruit and vegetables, jams and chutneys, to meats, fish, pies, fruit juices and wines.
The society’s joint CEO 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.
“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.
“There is no doubt that the incredible support shown this year is a reflection, not only of customers’ increasing desire for local provenance, more choice and to support the region economically, but of the huge appreciation they have for our local producers.”
Sourced Locally Fortnight included the third episode of the society’s Your Co-op Live videos, Sourced Locally Matters, featuring talks from Sourced Locally producers, recipes and an interactive Q&A session.
East of England also launched its annual Sourced Locally Awards, celebrating outstanding food and drink producers with a coveted Producer of the Year accolade up for grabs, as well as the Store of the Year award, recognising those stores that have gone the extra mile to champion local produce.
The winner will be selected exclusively by communities themselves via customer votes. Voting is open at eastofengland.coop/sourcedlocally until 25 July.
East of England has also launched its ‘In it to bin it’ campaign, encouraging the community groups, schools and other organisations – as well as its own colleagues – to collect a target of 15,000 bags of litter across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex by the end of summer. The society is providing 100 litter picking packs to help groups join the effort.
Joint CEO Niall O’Keeffe said: “As a community retailer, we are proud to call the East of England home. We live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, with picturesque countryside and a stunning coastline, but sadly we’ve seen an increase in litter building up across our region recently.
“We know our communities love and care about our region as much as we do so we think it’s time we took action. We’re delighted to be teaming up with local groups and providing the tools and guidance needed to go out litter picking this summer.
“I take part in litter picks myself and will definitely be going out as part of our ‘In it to bin it’ campaign. People are always surprised by how fun litter picking can be, it’s a fantastic way to get outdoors, connect with others and get some exercise.”
To apply for a litter picking pack – which includes litter picks, bag hoops and gloves – click here. www.eastofengland.coop/community/in-it-to-bin-it. These packs have been generously provided to the co-op at a fraction of the retail price by local company, Ground Control.