Holt supermarket’s first supplier of the year award won by Sharrington Strawberries

A north Norfolk supermarket has launched an awards scheme to celebrate its local suppliers.

Since it was taken over by the C T Baker group four years ago, Budgens of Holt has built up a network of 28 local suppliers and producers.

Company managing director Michael Baker said it meant that �500,000 that used to go to a corporate headquarters in the midlands was now channelled back into Norfolk businesses.

It was a partnership which put it 'at variance' with big supermarkets such as Tesco which was opening at nearby Sheringham in the next 12 to 18 months, he told a new annual supplier dinner launched at the Holt Feathers Hotel.

The event, which was attended by more than 70 people, featured a meal using local ingredients and the first ever award of a new Supplier of the Year award.

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It was won by Sharrington Strawberries, where grower Simon Turner, who does daily supplies, checks existing stock and if it looks 'tired' takes it away - for a full credit - and his wife turns it into jam which returns to the store.

Presenting the award, Mr Baker said: 'Everyone wins. Budgens of Holt has no waste, Simon Turner gets a realistic price and is paid regularly and on the nail, and the customer gets the freshest strawberries and premium home-made jam.'

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Runners-up were Perownes Eggs from Great Snoring and Graves the Butchers of Briston.

The overall winners will be flagged up on an honours board in the store, which Mr Baker stressed was also sourced locally from Norfolk oak.

A raffle on the night raised funds for Budgens of Holt's chosen charity of the year Blakeney-based Glaven Caring.

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