Supermarket buyers are being targeted by the Safe and Local Supplier Approval Scheme as part of a push to increase the amount of local food on offer in stores.

The internet-based accreditation scheme has added a function to its website allowing buyers to search for regional food produced by local suppliers.

Salsa was originally set up to give smaller producers the chance to gain recognised accreditation, but organisers now believe more retail buyers and local sourcing managers could benefit from the facility.

The site allows buyers to save time by checking potential suppliers' accreditation certificates online.

"Retailers want to sell more local products but they still need that formal certification. This is the first smaller standard with the capability of really making a difference," said Salsa auditor Gordon Hayburn.

So far Salsa has received support from Waitrose, Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Selfridges, among others.