The Co-op has launched a new small business charter that it says will help it to double the number of small local suppliers it works with to 1,200 by the end of 2017.
The five-point charter sets out clear principles to foster closer relationships and support for Co-op’s local suppliers. It also includes breaking down barriers to trading and avoiding duplicate auditing with a universal standard (SALSA accreditation) for food production, legislation and labelling. The retailer said it would not seed exclusivity, while helping to build long-term relationships with suppliers and growers.
Food Minister, George Eustice welcomed the development, saying, “From family-owned microbreweries to local vegetable suppliers, small businesses are the heart of our food and drink industry. They are also at the heart of the UK economy, with small and medium food and drink manufacturers generating more than £22 billion a year and employing over 127,000 people. It is great to see a major retailer like the Co-op supporting local suppliers and producers, bringing a real boost to communities around the country.”
Steve Murrells, Retail Chief Executive, Co-op, added, “We know our customers care about the provenance of their food and are keen to champion British products wherever they can. As a community retailer we want to make a difference in the communities we serve, working with more small suppliers who produce locally loved products to give great British food pride of place on our shelves.”
Photo Caption: The Co-op has pledged to double the number of local suppliers
Photo Credit: Co-op