Local Food - Made In Essex

Essex Local Food Festival July Cressing Temple Barns
Hatfield Broad Oak Sausages

Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society has served the Essex Community since 1867 and has 40 convenience food stores across the region.

As a community retailer, one of our priorities is to work alongside Essex-based businesses and organisations, nurturing mutual prosperity and success. A recent report has indicated that for every £100 spent at a local co-operative an additional £40 is generated for local customers and suppliers. So, we believe that stocking items that are ‘made in Essex’ makes good sense.

The Co-operative Movement works to a set of values and the cornerstone is supporting local economies. 

In accordance with this principle, Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society aims to increase the number of neighbourhood manufacturers and suppliers that we work alongside.

Our food stores already stock a wide range of locally produced goods and we are seeking to forge alliances with many more Essex producers, of all sizes, whose vast array of delicious food and beverages can be enjoyed by our customers.

We have pledged to source and bring together the excellence of Essex and we are introducing a ‘The Only Way is Local, Support your Essex Producer’ mark to promote this important initiative.

CLICK HERE to find out about our local food brands

What is ‘local’?

To us, ‘local’ indicates goods that have been cultivated or produced in Essex (where possible, using locally sourced ingredients). Some products are best suited to particular stores whilst others may be in demand all-round.

Helping the local economy to grow

Through Chelmsford Star’s commitment to supporting Essex producers, we believe that we can contribute to the growth and stimulation of local commerce and make a positive impact on business growth, employment and prosperity.

Furthermore, our members and customers can be confident that when they buy local produce they are supporting the Essex economy and the people who live here.

Stepping up to the mark

An intrinsic dimension of the Co-operative’s values is to demonstrate fairness, honesty and ethics in its relationship with all stakeholders. In our case, this includes members, customers, employees and suppliers alike.

Therefore, when approached by a prospective new producer, our decision on whether to stock their goods is based, in the main, on the following criteria:

  • Is it a quality food or beverage that will appeal to our customers?
  • Can the producer demonstrate that the produce is made in Essex and/or contains local ingredients?
  • Is the recommended retail price (RRP) fair and reasonable for our customers?
  • Will the RRP generate a sufficient return for the producer that will enable them to be a sustained supplier on either a seasonal or continuous basis?
  • Will the RRP generate a sound return for the Society’s stakeholders?

In return we guarantee to:

  • Place produce in stores where sales outcomes are likely to be the most successful.
  • Pay suppliers and producers in accordance with their trade terms and conditions.
  • Promote neighbourhood food and beverages through our ‘The Only Way is Local, Support your Essex Producer’ mark.

Find out more about becoming a supplier Chelmsford Star’s Food Trading Manager, Stewart Linehan, is constantly seeking to source new lines of interesting, unique, quality local food and beverages. If you are an Essex producer and would like to receive further details on becoming one of our suppliers, you can contact him by email at stewartl@chelmsfordstar.coop

Local produce: Our aims

  • To stock the very best of Essex’s quality local produce at our convenience food stores to the benefit of our customers and all other stakeholders.
  • To widen the range of Essex food and beverages offered to the benefit of our customers and all other stakeholders.
  • To assist in supporting and sustaining the business of local producers.
  • To help the growth and stimulation of the Essex economy.

Our delivery strategy

  • To ensure suppliers and their produce consistently meet our quality standards.
  • To seek full transparency on the origin of goods and the ingredients they contain.
  • To work closely with producers on the potential for range development eg. using Essex recipes.
  • To purvey goods at a retail price that meets all stakeholder thresholds.
  • To work with and support Essex producers in a fair, honest and ethical manner.
  • To introduce a ‘The Only Way is Local, Support your Essex Producer’ mark to identify produce stocked in Chelmsford Star convenience stores.
  • To promote our local producers through integrated marketing and PR activity.
  • To provide networking opportunities for the local producer community.
  • To inform our members, customers and employers about our local producers and their produce and how supporting them benefits the Essex economy.