An East Anglian farmer has joined forces with a retail chain and university academics to promote his produce.

Toby Rush, of Rymer Farm, on the historic Euston estate near Thetford, produces 10 million free range aggs a year, supplying them across the local area.

He has gained shelf space in 27 main Tesco stores and 48 Tesco Express shops in the region and is working with the supermarket giant and Norwich Business School to promote local free range eggs to consumers.

The Rush family has been farming at Rymer Farm since 1921.

Tesco has been working with him on managing stock levels and giving pro-active marketing advice, and has now offered him space instore to promote his eggs in person, engaging with customers visiting local stores about the benefits of buying local eggs, initially at Chelmsford and Great Yarmouth.

Steve Brooks, local sourcing manager for Tesco, said: 'We're thrilled to be working with Rymer Farm on this promotion. It's a great way to show off the quality of produce we have in the region, and support the local farming community.

Norwich Business School has developed a sampling exercise entitled 'who buys my food?' which is aimed at providing evidence-based consumer marketing intelligence while encouraging future purchase.

Professor Andrew Fearne, professor of value chain management, said the food and drink sector was 'hugely important' for the region and the business school wanted to help it build stronger connections with its markets.

'Rymer Farm is typical of the kind of businesses we are working with, solid foundations based on quality products and a strong regional heritage, and Toby Rush is typical of the kind of entrepreneur we are keen to support; hungry for growth and willing to adapt to give his business the best opportunity to succeed,' he said.

Toby said: 'With a few challenging months behind us of keeping away from the national bird flu crisis, we have been busy planning our marketing strategy and how we can work with the likes of Tesco's and the business school to grow our bottom line. It is a fascinating journey and one we hope will help to educate the consumer on the benefits of buying local produce.'

He will be meeting consumers at Tesco's Chelmsford on Friday, April 7, from 11am – 3pm.