Two Norfolk suppliers set for Co-op vote
09:00 14 July 2012
Two Norfolk producers are in the running to become the East of England Co-op’s first supplier of the year.
Potato, asparagus and strawberry suppliers R Tacon and Son of Great Yarmouth and Pastry Cutters of Norwich are now in the public vote to find the society’s top local supplier. Entries were whittled down to two suppliers each in Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk, and the society is asking the public- to help choose the winners.
Kevin Warden, East of England Co-operative Society’s local sourcing manager, said the awards were an opportunity for its members and customers to have a say in who was their favourite Sourced Locally suppliers.
The society’s Sourced Locally range has grown from a few suppliers to more than 100 in almost just five years, and has put some £15m back into the regional economy, creating more than 100 new jobs.
R.Tacon and Son supply asparagus, strawberries and bagged potatoes. The Tacon family farm are continually trying new varieties to make sure they have the right product for local customers, they have even used research by strawberry breeders to offer fruits with a better flavour, and extended season.
The father and son duo host open farm events and work with local schools to help make food production real to children. They believe that their farm has a positive environmental impact, caring for wildlife established in its fields, and they have installed solar panels.
Owner Richard Tacon said: “Charlie and I feel very honoured to be nominated for the Supplier of the Year Awards. We are delighted to be able to supply a variety of fresh produce to the local community and greatly appreciate the backing & help of the East of England Co-op to achieve our aims.”
Norwich bakers Pastry Cutters supply a varied range of bakery products, and are always keeping a close eye on which products are most popular with their local customers.
They keep their packaging to a minimum and recycle wherever possible. They have also expanded to cope with the demand from the Society, and have taken on new staff as part of their team.
Richard Hadley of Pastry Cutters said: “It is so nice to be recognised by a large local company, and to feel part of growing local industry. It is very satisfying knowing your service and products over the last 20 years are being rewarded.”
There will be three county winners, one each from Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, who will share in a prize package worth thousands of pounds.
Selected from these three county winners, the overall winner will receive an enhanced prize package including advertising in the local press, marketing and public relations support.