March 5 2015 Latest news:

A north Norfolk supermarket has praised its local suppliers at an annual awards evening.

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Budgens of Holt managing director highlighted the “partnership” between the store and local businesses which supplied it with produce ranging from strawberries to beer.

The Bakers and Larners boss bought the store in 2004 and revamped it in 2011.

Over that time it had cultivated a network of 29 local supplies, and spent £600,000 a year with them.

“We have built up a truly local supermarket. Other supermarkets ‘talk local’ but we have strawberries coming to the shop inside two hours, not 24,” he added.

It also ran a Love Local scheme raising money for local causes in Holt and the surrounding villages including Scouts, Kelling Hospital, the Owl Play Group and Kelling Village School.

Mr Baker felt Budgens paid a fair price to its suppliers, and the awards sought to recognise their service, innovation and growth.

Overall winner was Martins Farm Chickens from Hindolveston, which also supplied duck, guinea fowl, turkeys, and geese - and had seen a 60pc sales increase.

Co-owner of the family-run business Jason Peart thanked Budgens for its recognition and “believing in what we do” at their 70-acre, 2,500-bird farm.

Second were Perownes Eggs from Great Snorning, whose sales had also risen 47pc, and third were Aylsham vegetable suppliers Fresh Approach.

The awards were presented at a dinner attended by 50 people at the Feathers Hotel, Holt.

A raffle at the event raised a further £166 towards the £2,000 already raised for the store’s charity for the year Riding for the Disabled.

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