ALDI has launched a Scottish Small Supplier Development Programme to give up-and-coming food and drink companies the chance to secure their big break.
The programme was announced at the official opening of ALDI’s new multi-million-pound headquarters in Bathgate with Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, and James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, in attendance.
The retailer, which has 78 stores across Scotland, will work with Scotland Food & Drink to ensure as many Scottish companies as possible are aware of the programme and able to access support.
Graham Nicolson, Group Buying Director at ALDI in Scotland, said: “We have always led the way with Scottish sourcing and in May this year we announced plans to boost our investment in Scotland by increasing our range of Scottish products from 350 to 400 in the next two years. Our Scottish Small Supplier Development Programme is part of that commitment, and will help more small Scottish food and drink businesses secure a retail listing.
“For a lot of small food and drink businesses, trying to secure a listing with a major retailer puts huge pressure on their team. We’ve launched this development programme to make it easier for companies to get their products on our shelves and to give our customers access to the most exciting and best quality new products from Scotland.”
Food and drink companies in Scotland with ambitions to take their product from concept to shelf and see it stocked in ALDI can apply for the Scottish Small Supplier Development programme by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the programme, ALDI will offer companies that meet the qualifying criteria subsidised costs and support from a dedicated member of the Quality Assurance team who will offer advice, insight and coaching from day one until the product reaches ALDI shelves.
James Withers, Chief Executive, Scotland Food & Drink said: “We are delighted to be supporting Aldi’s exciting new Scottish Small Supplier Development Programme. It is a fantastic opportunity which will enable more Scottish producers to secure their first retail listing and provide them with insight into the way ALDI works.
“We know from extensive research that 70% of Scots believe the availability of locally sourced products is important. This initiative will help to meet consumers appetite for Scottish products and I encourage our smaller Scottish producers to get involved.”
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “While our food and drink industry is a key contributor to Scotland’s economy, it can sometimes be challenging for small food and drink businesses to get their products onto retailers’ shelves. That is why I am delighted to support ALDI’s new Scottish Small Supplier Development Programme that aims to make it easier for small businesses to do just that and increase the availability of quality Scottish produce for consumers.”