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ASDA have launched their supplier development academy in partnership with Scotland Food & Drink and supported by The Scottish Government. This is an opportunity for suppliers to get to know more about supermarket trading and growing their business.

James Withers Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink and Fergus Ewing Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy celebrated the launch at a parliamentary reception earlier in the week.

l-r James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food and Drink; Gail Ross MSP; Debra Lees, Senior Director of Local Sourcing, Asda and Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity

Michael McCallion, Head of Scottish Sourcing at Asda, said: “We’re very excited to be working with Scotland Food & Drink for the launch of the 2019 Academy. At Asda we place huge importance on supporting local suppliers in growing their business, no matter how big or small.

“Where Asda can take a local product and find it a national market then the benefits are multiple: sales increase, customers get better choice and quality, and suppliers get the confidence and scale to make the move from small to medium to large businesses. Invariably that means more local jobs and more investment with local primary producers. It also helps to deliver more of what our customers tell us they want – high quality, great value Scottish products on Asda shelves. “

Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive, James Withers added: “At the end of last year we launched our new UK market strategy, identifying an £8.5 billion growth opportunity for the Scottish food and drink industry in the coming years.  The recipe for success is to build the capability of Scottish suppliers and break into new markets.  That is exactly what this new programme is all about.

“A top priority for us is to build ever deeper partnerships with Scottish food and drink’s biggest customers. Asda is central to the future of our sector and their commitment to work with the industry and Scottish Government is exactly the kind of partnership we want.

“The ASDA Supplier Academy has already racked up over £20 million of new business for Scottish producers so it is great to see this unique opportunity for new and experienced companies open again for 2019.”

With over £1.2bn worth of Scottish produce being sourced annually from more than 100 Scottish suppliers, including family-run organisations, Asda is keen to extend its support for the sector by creating more opportunities for its suppliers, both in Scotland and the UK-wide market.