Local producers continue to benefit from The Southern Co-operative and Hampshire Fare partnership

Local producers continue to benefit from The Southern Co-operative and Hampshire Fare partnership

The Southern Co-operative has pledged to continue its support for Hampshire Fare. The regional food retailer, which has its roots in Hampshire, has been supporting Hampshire Fare since 2009, making it the food group's longest serving Corporate Partner.

The Southern Co-operative values its relationship with Hampshire Fare as local producers are high on their own agenda. The retailer provides its customers with the opportunity to purchase local products through its popular 'Local Flavours' range. More than 450 different local lines are stocked in 17 of their Hampshire stores. This gives local producers the opportunity to showcase their products to The Southern Co-operative's customers and enables consumers to buy local products every day of the week.

Kate Hibbert, Local Sourcing Manager for Local Flavours at The Southern Co-operative, spoke of the importance they place on supporting Hampshire's local producers: 'For us, as a co-operative, it's not just about selling food but about supporting the communities where we trade in a holistic way. We work closely with our local producers and suppliers to help them develop their business in a sustainable way, as well as backing organisations including Hampshire Fare that in turn offer them support and profile. '

Claytons Eggs, located near Romsey, has been supplying the Local Flavours range since 2009. Phillip Shepherd from Claytons is positive about the opportunity, 'The Southern Co-operative is a great company to work with. They were the first of the supermarket groups to support local producers and they are willing to give us a good price for the eggs. We are pleased that this arrangement means our eggs are going to shops in the local area for local people rather than being sent to a huge packing station. We supply The Southern Co-operative with 800 dozen eggs per week, that's 9,600 eggs.'

As well as sourcing local producers for their Local Flavours range The Southern Co-operative shows its support for producers during the Hampshire Food Festival held every July. Stores across Hampshire enter into the spirit of the festival with tastings and food events celebrating local produce. Its Local Flavours tasting trailer is also a regular participant at agricultural shows.

Mike Wright, Chairman of Hampshire Fare, commented on the partnership: 'We are delighted that The Southern Co-operative has decided to continue supporting Hampshire Fare. We value their support and our work is only possible thanks to our loyal corporate partners and friends. We are also pleased to announce that we will be welcoming Kate on to our board to give a valuable multiple retailer perspective to our business.'

Image (L to R): Tracy Nash, Phillip Shepherd, Kate Hibbert and Mike Wright

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