Co-operative giving out free ice cream from van to celebrate anniversary

The Co-operative is celebrating 10 years of supporting local food and drink producers by launching a 10-county tour.

Wednesday, 28th June 2017, 12:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th June 2017, 12:42 pm
Southern Co-op staff launching their LocalFlavours campaign Picture: Darin Higgs/Umbala Photography

The ‘#LocalFlavours’ campaign sees a Co-op bus, branded in the style of a VW camper van, drive along the south coast with local food heroes to meet members of the public.

The journey is setting out to highlight some of the best artisan food producers who provide top quality food and drink to local stores.

The van began its venture on June 10 at Southern Co-op’s headquarters in Lakeside, Portsmouth. Staff handed out free ice cream from Hampshire producer Jude’s and then got back on the road to travel through places such as the Isle of Wight, to sample The Tomato Stall, and Chewton Glen for the Hampshire Food Festival Launch.

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The bus will make its final stop at The Crusty Cob in Devon on July 6.

The Co-op wanted to show its support for local produce by visiting suppliers and giving their members an insight into local food production.

Kate Hibbert, Southern Co-op’s local sourcing manager said: ‘We are one of the very few major retailers who run our local sourcing as a separate entity within our business, which enables us to develop and retain very close relationships with our suppliers and to offer our customers a fabulous range of local food and drink, produced by people who are very passionate about what they do.’

The campaign aims to encourage people living across the 10 counties in the south to support their local producers.

A discount is also being offered on local food and drinks in stores while the campaign runs to enable customers to try new things.