Simon Stevens mD commercial, Arla foods UK

"We have focused on three key areas: service levels, innovation and assistance with category management. We have worked hard to improve availability. Of 150 new products launched this year, 120 have been own-label. In spreadable butters, we have helped retailers rationalise ranges to build on the better-selling, higher-margin products."

Alain Guilpain category manager dairy, Tesco

"With the rising interest in the provenance of food, consumers are looking for more and more information about the farms and creameries their food comes from. Consumer trust in our own-label range, its consistency and quality, is vital. Therefore, consistency of supply is an important element to give this reassurance to consumers and stability to producers."

Neil Jones sales & marketing director, Richmond Foods

"I believe our success in own-label is down to having meaningful dialogue and debate with retailers up front when going into partnership so we jointly understand what the opportunities are. It helps that our people in development, commercial and manufacturing have the right mindset to overcome the hurdles. We pride ourselves on the ability to respond to any issues."

Stewart Waldie category controller, Nisa-Today's

"Suppliers such as McBride understand that we want to maximise our business in our own way. We're not interested in copying the multiples. So if packs, products and promotions can be tailored to our needs, we will be in great shape. McBride has been able to provide more premium household lines for our Heritage range, giving us the opportunity for substantial margin growth."

Allison Timony bacon and sausage buyer, Sainsbury's

"Cranswick is a quality-centric supplier that relentlessly pursues quality, innovation and product consistency. At the heart of its product development lies considerable consumer knowledge about trends and sales opportunities, which provides Sainsbury's with traditional, high-quality bacon and sausage, encouraging our customers to try something new."

Jim Brisby sales and marketing director, Cranswick

"We have a history of successful partnerships with the major players in the retail sector through each of our 10 manufacturing sites. We employ a team of passionate individuals who have been with the business a number of years. They have in-depth knowledge both of the products we make as well as the wider market and the specific challenges within these categories."