In the same issue of The Grocer, Asda announced the appointment of a community director to head a 12-strong local sourcing team and declared that locally sourced products would feature in all of its stores by the end of next year.
Only last month Tesco's latest dedicated local marketing manager appointment was reported (Movers and Shakers The Grocer, January 25).
Waitrose has its Small Producers Charter, Sainsbury its recent Supplier Development Programme, and Somerfield and the Co-operative Group, to name but two more, now have teams responsible for local suppliers.
Quality, service and price will as ever remain key to the success of any supplier. However, this initiative should be welcomed as potentially presenting greater opportunities for the more innovative smaller producers of the UK than there have been for some time. The challenge thereafter for the more ambitious of such suppliers may be to prove themselves and their products worthy of a national status.