Nick Herbert visits Crumbs of Sussex
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert paid a visit to ‘Crumbs of Sussex’ near Washington on Friday afternoon (23 May).
Mr Herbert was given a tour of the shop premises by joint owner Simon Croft and was shown some of the local produce on display, including bread baked in Slindon and sunflower oil produced in Partridge Green.
Mr Herbert was introduced to the colour-coded labelling system used by Crumbs which indicates whether food has been produced in the UK or transported from overseas. The labels also display the ‘food miles' associated with each product, showing how far the food has travelled from its source.
Mr Croft explained the fair trade scheme operated by Crumbs, called Fair Trade Local. Mr Herbert was told how the firm undertakes to source produce locally, build long-term relationships with suppliers and pay producers a ‘fair' price. In return, Crumbs endorses products from suppliers who pay the minimum wage to their workforce, comply with health and safety regulations, treat their employees with respect and apply environmentally sustainable farming practices.
Mr Herbert was also told about work to encourage a new generation of consumers to appreciate fresh local produce. In recent years, Mr Croft has visited nursery schools to teach children about food and where it comes from.
Crumbs was established in 2005 by business partners James Meldrum and Simon Croft. The shop is located in the Shoots Garden Centre, close to the London Road (A24) at Washington.
The shop sells a range of fruit and vegetables, including locally sourced broccoli, beetroot, asparagus, lettuces, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples and peppers. They also sell jams, breads, chutneys, sauces, biscuits, nuts, seeds, juices, chocolates, cheeses, milks, creams and other dairy products supplied by a farm in Bury near Pulborough, pies from Sussex-based Higgidy Pies and smoked salmon from Springs of Faulking.
Simon Croft commented: "I was delighted to see Nick at Crumbs on Friday and we are very encouraged that he shows such an interest in locally sourced food."
Nick Herbert commented: "I was struck by the range and quality of the local food on sale at Crumbs and look forward to going back again as a customer. I'm a great believer in supporting local producers whenever we can.
"Of course supermarkets have their place - we can't turn the clock back. But local produce is the sustainable and often the healthy choice. It's fresher, usually tastes better, has less packaging and has travelled shorter distances, so it can reduce the environmental cost."
Mr Herbert added: "Crumbs is a great venture and I hope that the shop, and local ventures like it, will go from strength to strength."
Notes for Editors
1. For the website of Crumbs of Sussex, visit www.crumbsofsussex.co.uk/
2. Crumbs is open 9am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday.
3. At a ceremony of the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2007/08, held in January, Crumbs won the award for Best Sussex Food Shop.