Shoppers are reducing their carbon footprint by buying 40 per cent more local products from a regional co-operative than five years ago.
The figures have been released by Southern Co-op as it celebrates a milestone anniversary, 15 years since Local Flavours was first launched on the Isle of Wight. The local flavours team paid a visit to two Island producers last week to recognise the hard work which has gone into making this possible – The Tomato Stall and Briddlesford Farm Dairy.
Samantha Blake, sales account manager at The Tomato Stall, said: “The Tomato Stall is privileged to be a long-term partner and not only are we able to supply our produce through the branches, but have had first-hand experience of the positive impact Southern Co-op has in supporting the communities around its branches.”
In 2021, there were more than 3½ million products sold from Southern Co-op’s Local Flavours range, a 40 per cent increase from just over 2½ million in 2017.
Southern Co-op’s partnership with Briddlesford Farm Dairy has provided local retail outlets for products from their pedigree Guernsey cows, after it became unsustainable for it to be shipped off the Island. Paul Griffin, the fourth generation of the Griffin family to run the farm, said: “Working with Southern Co-op has meant a lot to us at Briddlesford Lodge Farm. Southern Co-op could see the quality and provenance of our products and were able to offer us access to a much wider customer base, through their many stores.
“This was a big step up for Briddlesford, and eventually enabled us to significantly expand this aspect of our business. It gave us confidence to work with larger customers and, in turn, this has helped to preserve our family farm, and our iconic dairy herd.”