The East of England Co-op is hoping to enrich the UK’s local food industry with the launch of a new Sourced Locally Fortnight.
Running from 1 - 14 of June the campaign seeks to encourage shoppers to swap one product they regularly buy for a local alternative.
“We know what an amazing impact locally sourced produce has had on our business and for our suppliers – we now want to encourage even more people to try it,” the group’s executive officer for retail Roger Grosvenor said.
“During Sourced Locally Fortnight we want to shine a spotlight on local producers and encourage more shoppers to consciously buy local produce, whilst urging our fellow retailers across the UK to support more local suppliers” he added.
The fortnight will also see the East of England Co-op offer an enhanced range of locally sourced produce in its stores.
For the first time it will only stock locally sourced potatoes, strawberries and asparagus across every store. Shoppers will also be able to buy locally sourced key staples such as eggs, ham, sausages and cooking oil; plus other items including chocolate and cookies.
An array of local produce tastings will be held.
Almost 80% of UK adults think its important that people in Britain buy locally sourced produce, new YouGov research commissioned by the East of England Co-op shows.
However, only 30% have actually bought any in the last week.
The research also highlights that vegetables (51%) and meat (40%) top the list when asked to select the two products that they would buy if a locally sourced alternative was available; followed by eggs (30%), milk (22%) and fruit (22%).
Less than half (47%) of those questioned thought that they could buy locally sourced produce in a supermarket and only 18% said they would expect to find it in a convenience store.
In 2014 sales from the East of England Co-op’s ‘Sourced Locally’ range reached £14.6m.