Co-op backs Cumbrian producers
The Co-op has launched a local sourcing programme in Cumbria.
This will see eight firms supply 40 products for sale in 18 of the retailer's stores across the county.
Four breweries which will be supplying the stores.
These are the Penrith-based Appleby Brewery, the Handsome Brewery, based in Bowston, near Kendal, The Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery Company and Stringers in Ulverston.
The other four producers will be Ginger Bakers, confectioner George Romney and tea and coffee merchant Farrer’s – all of which are in Kendal – and preserves maker Cumbrian Delights, based in Staveley.
Charlotte Bleasdale, ranging manager for the Co-op in Cumbria, said: “It is the innovation, traditions, quality and passion which makes these prized local products – the shift we have seen in consumer tastes is continuing and, we believe there is significant potential for further growth in both the prominence and share of locally sourced produce.
"Our customers tell us that food provenance really matters to them – quality, trust, convenience and value are key for consumers. Backing local produce is about much more than just ‘hanging out the bunting’ – Cumbrian food and drink is world-renowned and the Co-op is committed to investing in its local communities, supporting local economies and providing opportunities to showcase, support and celebrate great Cumbrian food and drink.”
The stores where the products will be sold are Alston, Ambleside, Appleby, Bowness, Brampton, Cockermouth, Cleator Moor, Dalton, Dalston, Egremont, Grange, Kirkby Stephen, Maryport, Morton in Carlisle, Silloth, Warwick Bridge, Wigton, Windermere.
All of the producers were grateful to be included in the scheme.
Stuart Taylor, director and brewer at Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery Co, said: “It is great news. We take great pride and passion in producing our beers and we are pleased to work with the Co-op which shares our passion for quality, locally produced products.
"Cumbria is our home, and our heartland, and the Co-op’s community-based approach extends our reach and availability – supporting our brand awareness and business development. We are often asked where our beers can be bought and the Co-op provides a great route to market, helping us to reach customers in areas where they may not previously have been able to buy our beers.”
Paula Barron, director of Romney’s, said: “As a Cumbrian-based business we are delighted to be working with the Co-op. The Co-op’s own ethos, history and values are a great fit for us. For residents and visitors alike it will enable people in our local communities to have access to buying locally produced Cumbrian confectionary.”
Lisa Smith, founder of Ginger Bakers, said: “We are delighted. The timing could not have been better. After we were devastated by floods we made a conscious decision to relocate to a bigger, purpose built facility in order to expand capacity and develop new ranges based on our traditional recipes – working with the Co-op extends our reach and opens up new markets for us for both residents and visitors to our area.”
Geoff Monkman, founder of Cumbrian Delights, said: “This is great news. We produce more than 50 jams and preserves in total, and working with the Co-op will help to “spread” our brand awareness further afield, we believe it will also have a beneficial knock-on effect for many of the farm shops and delis who offer other products from our range – this is our first contract of this size and we are delighted, with stores in many tourist areas, it will also help our business development through sales to visitors who come to our beautiful region.”
Simon Walsh, managing director of Farrer's, said: “We are very happy to work with the Co-op, many people who try our drinks in the guest houses, restaurants and coffee shops of Cumbria are often keen to take our product home and, the Co-op’s own history – like ours, stretching back to the 1800’s, its ethos and local flavour not only compliments our brand, but helps Farrer’s to reach and serve new markets in our Cumbrian communities.”
John Kyme, Stringers' brewer, said: "It's good – 18 more places to sell our beer."
"Obviously I would like to supply them nationally with all of the beer I can possibly make," he joked.
"This is a good move, customers will feel more connected to the stores and the customers can then see that their spend stays in the local area."
Jason Hill, managing director of Eden Brewery, said: “Our mission during 2017 is to grow the capacity of the brewery to bring more great beer to more people across the world. We know there is a huge community of smart drinkers out there who are demanding better beer. We are keen to connect with them in any way we can.
“The listing in the Co-op is one part of this overall picture. There are Co-op stores all over the county and we are glad that more and more people across Cumbria are going to be able to buy and drink our beer."