A feast of Wales’ finest produce is set to be celebrated by the Co-op as it joined forces with Anglesey-based Chef, Ellis Barrie, to launch its first-ever Welsh Supplier Awards.
The community retailer invited its suppliers to enter the inaugural Co-op Welsh Supplier Awards to showcase and celebrate the history, passion, quality and innovation found in abundance in Welsh food and drink. The winners are to be announced at a glittering award ceremony in Cardiff on Thursday, 7 March.
The Co-op – which marks its 175th anniversary this year – stocks over 500 Welsh products, from beer to bakery and, curry to ice cream. In addition, its backing for British agriculture has seen all of its own-brand fresh meat sourced in Britain, a move which has ensured Welsh lamb is available in-store all year round.
Ellis Barrie – who won through to the final week of The Great British Menu in 2018 with his fish dish served up at a banquet to celebrate 70 years of the NHS – founded The Marram Grass Restaurant in Newborough, Anglesey. World-renowned for its fresh local produce and seasonality of ingredients, its award-winning Chef will join the Co-op in judging the awards.
Chef Ellis Barrie, said:
“The beauty, surroundings and abundance of fresh ingredients around our restaurant in Wales is a constant inspiration for our team, and we know this to be the case for many producers and growers in communities across Wales who create stand-out quality food and drink. I have a passion for local sourcing and seasonality which I know is at the heart of the Co-op’s approach, and I am delighted to team up with the community retailer as it launches its first Welsh Supplier Awards to celebrate and showcase the breadth of great Welsh food and drink.”
Tina Mitchell, Director for Co-op Food, Wales, said:
“Nothing brings people together quite like great food and, we know by listening to our Members and customers that quality, provenance and trust really matters – it is something that they care about. Launching the inaugural Welsh Supplier Awards provides an incredible opportunity to showcase a feast of Wales’ finest producers. Highlighting the impact that these farmers, growers and producers have, not only in producing great food and drink, but also the vital part they play in creating jobs, investing in communities and, ensuring that great Welsh food and drink is firmly on the map, where it belongs.”
Simon Dryell, Head of Local Sourcing, Co-op, added:
“As a community retailer, locally sourced produce is an area where we see continued sustainable growth. This is driven by growing consumer demand and, increased awareness in locally produced food and drink which is made with a mix of quality ingredients, pride, history and innovation. We build close relationships with our growers and producers, they are at the heart of local life and we want to support them and see them thrive in our communities. Connecting communities and bringing people together is at the very core of the Co-op. A co-operative is a different kind of business, and we believe a strong Co-op can create stronger communities by creating value in the towns, villages and cities that we serve. These award’s present a unique platform to showcase and celebrate our Welsh producers.”
Categories for the inaugural Co-op Welsh Supplier of the Year Awards, 2019:
- Bakery Product of the Year
- Own Label Supplier of the Year
- New Product of the Year – market leading innovation produced Jan ‘18 – Feb ‘19
- Beers, Wines and Spirits (BWS) Product of the Year
- Fresh Product of the Year
- Grocery Product of the Year
- Best Agriculture Initiative
- Active in the Community
- Most Sustainable Supplier
- Local Supplier of the Year
- Succeed Together Award
- Supplier of the Year (Judges Award)