East of England Co-Op Shortlisted for National Award

The East of England Co-op has been named as a finalist in The Grocer Gold Awards 2020, recognising its ongoing achievements with supporting local food and drink producers.
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The regional retailer has been nominated in the Supply Chain Initiative of the Year category, following developments to its ‘Sourced Locally’ initiative.

Sourced Locally was introduced in 2007 to bring local produce to the East of England Co-op’s shelves. It has since generated millions of pounds for the region and helped to create and protect hundreds of local jobs.

With over 110 local suppliers across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, between them supplying 2,000 product lines, the East of England Co-op sought a partnership to support their future plans.

Following discussions with Thomas Ridley Foodservice, a family-owned business who have been operating from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, for 100 years, a new supply chain was introduced in April 2019 and has already produced impressive results.

As well as a significant increase in sales for local produce, local suppliers’ food miles have been lowered, with suppliers recording an up to 90% reduction in distribution-related travel.

Roger Grosvenor, Joint Chief Executive of the East of England Co-op said

“It’s been thirteen years since we embarked on our Sourced Locally journey. We had a simple aim; to bring the fantastic local produce of our region to our members and customers. We have never been more committed to our Sourced Locally family and wanted to take a fresh look at how we could work together more efficiently for the benefit of everyone.

In collaboration with Thomas Ridley Foodservice and our local suppliers, we’ve worked hard to simplify our operations, to allow us to minimise deliveries, administration, distribution mileage and costs. The end result is a much more efficient way of working for everyone. We can offer a better range of products and improved availability to our customers, helping to ensure essential items and seasonal treats are on our shelves when customers need them. There are environmental benefits too. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”

Justin Godfrey, Group Managing Director for Thomas Ridley Foodservice, said

“We’re delighted to be involved with facilitating the Sourced Locally supply chain improvements. As a local, sixth generation business, we’re proud to be working with the East of England Co-op on this meaningful and impactful project.”

The winners of The Grocer Gold Awards 2020 will be announced at a prestigious black-tie event, hosted by Rt. Hon. Lord William Hague, on Monday 2nd November 2020 at The Guildhall, London.

Photo by Anglia Picture Agency shows: Roger Grosvenor (r) Joint Chief Executive at East of England Co-op and Justin Godfrey (l) Managing Director at Thomas Ridley Foodservice

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