The Southern Co-operative is giving its support to the 2015 Royal Isle of Wight County Show as sponsor of the Food Pavilion, underlining its commitment to local food producers.
The Royal Isle of Wight County Show, which is being held on 27 June at the County Showground, has grown to become one of the Isle of Wight’s “must attend” summer events. The theme of this year’s show is to ‘come and have a go’; with a unique combination of traditional and action packed entertainment, there are opportunities aplenty to get up close to farm animals and take part in a range of country pursuits.
Support of the Food Pavilion at the County Show was described as a ‘natural fit’ by The Southern Co-operative. Its Local Flavours range was first introduced nine years ago on the Isle of Wight and has since extended to The Southern Co-operative’s stores across Hampshire, Sussex and southern England. A number of the Island’s Local Flavours suppliers, including Wight Kitchen Ltd, Pinks, The Tomato Stall, The Garlic Farm, Brownriggs and Catch will be showcasing their range in the Show’s food pavilion. Kate Hibbert, Local Sourcing Manager for The Southern Co-operative, said: “Our Local Flavours range promotes local distinctiveness and is very popular with our customers. We stock more than 350 lines from over 30 Isle of Wight producers in our Island stores alone; as an independent regional retailer, it’s vital that we play a pivotal role in supporting local food producers and the rural economy; this is very much part of our business ethics as a co-operative.”
Graham Biss, County Show Chairman said: “We are delighted to be working with The Southern Co-operative. Local food and the food section of the show are very important to the Agricultural Society, and to be working with the right partner is equally important. Their commitment to local food producers, together with their support for the Show, is helping to sustain the rural economy here on the Isle of Wight.”
The Southern Co-operative Food Pavilion at the Royal Isle of Wight County Show is arranged by Taste of the Wight. Throughout the day there will be a range of demonstrations and activities, alongside the opportunity to enjoy a vast range of local food and drink. The Southern Co-operative food pavilion will open onto the Village Green, a new area at this year’s show, where visitors will be able to have their lunch and be entertained by a range of traditional entertainers and activities. Kate summed up: “This promises to be a rewarding partnership which will highlight both the delicious food and drink produced on the Isle of Wight and the dedicated people behind the produce.”
The Southern Co-operative’s new store in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight, which it has recently confirmed, plans to open week commending 7 September, will be a Local Flavours flagship store, stocking a comprehensive range of local food and drink and hosting regular tastings with local producers from the Island.
Admission to the Royal Isle of Wight County Show is £8 for adults with free admission for children under 16. More details can be found at www.riwas.org.uk