Monday, April 23, 2018

Wicks Manor Pork crowned Producer of the Year 2018

April 3, 2018 by  
Filed under News & Business

Following a fiercely contested campaign, Wicks Manor Pork is enjoying sizzling success after scooping the East of England Co-op’s Producer of the Year 2018 crown.

The Essex pork producer from Maldon went the whole hog to beat stiff competition from Norfolk and Suffolk county finalists, Buxton Potatoes and Havensfield Eggs. The announcement was made at the co-op’s annual Supplier Supper at Wherstead Park, Ipswich.

The Howie family has been producing premium pork since 1967 – and today Wicks Manor Pork is run by brothers Fergus and Hamish Howie. “I cannot wait to take this award back to the farm and celebrate with the whole team,” said Fergus, who collected the award.

This year’s Producer of the Year competition attracted a record-breaking 28,638 votes from  cast across the region in support of local produce – an increase of 48% on 2017.

The campaign trail saw entrants participate in a host of activities. It included a Tremendous Tractor Taste Tour, which took producers the length of the region; and a blind taste test of their food by children from the Co-op Juniors theatre group.

The three finalists were then visited by a panel of food and farming experts last month to judge the winner. All three county winners scored highly but Wicks Manor Pork achieved top marks with the family-run farm’s holistic approach to farming receiving particular praise.

East of England Co-op joint chief executive Roger Grosvenor said: “This competition has been a great way to encourage our customers to ‘think local’ and to champion our fantastic local producers. Thank you to all who supported Producer of the Year 2018.”

The East of England Co-op celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. It works with some 100 local producers through its multi-award winning Sourced Locally initiative, which has generated over £62m for the regional economy since launching in 2007.

For full details about the shortlisted producers, visit www.eastofengland.coop/poty2018.

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