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Published on:04 JUNE 2020

Article tags:Centre News

County food group Hampshire Fare is launching a major new campaign supporting local producers and independent retailers as lockdown eases.

Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager, Hampshire Fare, explains: “This campaign is a rallying cry! It is a celebration of the brilliant service people have received from independent retailers and local producers during lockdown. More importantly, however, the objective of our campaign is to ask: why should that experience of going into a local store, being looked after, receiving personal service, perhaps being provided with home delivery, end with lockdown easing?”

Hampshire Fare’s Stay Loyal Stay Local campaign is about reminding and encouraging people to stay loyal to those relationships they have formed with local independents, producers and suppliers over the past ten weeks. Key to the campaign are artwork designs to be used in shop windows and across online and print media that champion the individuals behind Hampshire’s local independents.

Tracy Nash continues: “During lockdown we have seen local producers and independents come up with ingenious ways to service their communities. Some set up online shopping facilities and provided click and collect or home delivery services. Others have diversified, setting up new box schemes. This campaign recognises their efforts – stepping in when supermarkets struggled with supply chains and deliveries.

“The core of our campaign message is loyalty. Maintaining these relationships is important for several reasons, including community, economy, sustainability and wellbeing. Having a relationship with your local community helps people to feel connected which is good for mental health. Sustainability is key to our environment. Finally, supporting local creates a strong, local economy that will make us more resilient. (It appears likely that occasional area-specific lockdowns may be required as we learn to live with Covid-19 for the foreseeable future.)”

The Campaign is being supported by Hampshire County Council and Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (EM3) through funding from EM3’s Economic Recovery Plan to support the area’s long-term vitality.

Kathy Slack, Chief Executive, EM3, comments: “I am delighted EM3 could support Hampshire Fare in this fantastic campaign. Loyal, local customers are the backbone of any rural food business and I’m sure this simple but powerful message will encourage people to support their local producers at a time when they need it most.”

Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “This coronavirus outbreak has shown us how we can live differently. Local food shops and suppliers stepped up immediately when the Government asked us to stay at home as much as possible, playing an enormous role in helping us keep our cupboards stocked when we needed to reduce our travel and stay safe.

“We are now at a turning point as restrictions on our travel start to ease, and we are in a position to make choices about how we want our future to look. I’m delighted the County Council is able to support this initiative to support Hampshire’s economic recovery from the pandemic, and would urge people to keep hold of some of the positive lifestyle changes we’ve had to make in the last few months and continue to use local shops, supporting local producers and suppliers.”

The first phase of the campaign will encompass local producers and small independent retailers who have been operating throughout lockdown. The second phase will support the return of the hospitality sector.

Tracy Nash adds: “We want to sing out about all the good work that has been achieved so that people will stay loyal and others will consider using local as well. Our farmers, local producers and small independents are the lifeblood of this county. They helped their communities and through this campaign we are empowering them to ask their communities for support in return. They are going to need all the support they can get. We are simply asking - Stay Loyal Stay Local.”

© Festival Place 2019