Leading food and drink suppliers have stepped up their efforts to help traders facing potential ruin because of this month's riots, The Grocer can reveal.

Some traders in areas hit by the violence saw their entire stock looted or destroyed. With many traders still unable to reopen, sales forces from some of the biggest companies are leading efforts to help those worst hit although many are reluctant to go into detail about what they are doing for fear of being seen to be seeking publicity.

Coca-Cola Enterprises said it had already provided assistance to more than 30 independent stores in cities across the north of England and London.

"We have helped retailers who have experienced the most severe examples of looting," said Geoff Kent, CCE vice president for regions. "Where appropriate CCE has been able to offer free cases of product to help these retailers replenish stocks and offer a full range of soft drinks again."

PepsiCo said its sales teams were visiting stores this week to draw up a list of independents in need of help. "We will look at providing stock or helping ­rebuild fixtures," said a spokesman. "There are going to be some interesting conversations this week."

The FWD said it was helping to co-ordinate the aid effort and identify the traders who had been worst affected by the riots. It was drawing up a list of those most in need of aid and would continue to work closely with suppliers, it added.