Representatives from 18 food and drink companies gained an insight into the UK’s second largest supermarket retailer, Asda, at their Aberdeen, Bridge of Dee store last week.
Among them was Paul Allan of Buchan-based bakers Murdoch Allan & Sons Ltd who currently supply Asda.
Paul also gave fellow suppliers an overview of his relationship with the retailer, explaining: “Growth within Asda has been fantastic for our business, we started off in one store and are now in all Scottish stores with our range of craft bakery products.
“Today has been a great opportunity to participate in this visit and share my experience with potential new suppliers”. “
Asda currently works with more than 16 local producers across Aberdeenshire in its five local stores. Grampian Food Forum members were given an overview of the business and a behind-the-scenes tour by general store manager, Alistair Lindsay.
They also met with Lorna Murray and Mervyn Jones from Asda’s dedicated Scottish food and drink buying team who are looking to grow the local range.
Lorna Murray, Asda’s Local Sourcing and Technical Manager, said: “These events are a fantastic opportunity to showcase the best in local produce and it is our team’s top priority to get out and meet with all the local suppliers and producers who attend.
“We are interested in growing and extending our local lines across all categories and we strongly urge any supplier with something of interest to come along and meet our team, who will be easily identifiable with their Asda badges on display.
“It’s important we think locally and engage with the community and are keen to support and nurture the businesses of local producers as this will ultimately contribute to an improved local economy.”
The Grampian Food Forum is a partnership comprising senior members of the food and drink industry in the north east of Scotland and the main development agencies in the area. It advises public sector organisations on the needs of the food and drink industry so that programmes and projects focused on the actual needs of the industry can be put in place.
The activities of the Food Forum are many and varied. They include open meetings, workshops, awareness visits, the dining club and the annual innovation awards.
The Grampian Food Forum is also a partner in Taste of Grampian; the one day food and drink festival.