Four more suppliers have thrown their weight behind Landmark Wholesale's Hot House retail programme.

Müller, Vimto Soft Drinks, E&J Gallo and Kraft Foods have all signed up to the buying group's scheme, bringing the total number of manufacturers backing the initiative to 46.

Hot House was launched by Landmark Wholesale in 2001, in conjunction with wholesalers and suppliers, to give independents the support associated with symbol membership without some of the more stringent demands, such as commitments to source a high percentage of products from a certain wholesaler.

Hot House retailers only have to source 25% of all their lines from a Landmark wholesaler. The number of c-stores converted to Hot House had exceeded 1,200 and was on course to achieve its target of 2,500 by 2010, said Landmark Wholesale retail controller Raj Krishan. "Hot House gives independents the services and tools they need to compete," he added.