West Midlands food and drink producers have cut the number of miles travelled between factory and retailer by 60,000 in six months, according to producer group Heart of England Fine Foods.

The collaborative distribution service allows retailers such as Morrisons and Midcounties Co-operative to place one order with HEFF for products from up to 83 producers. The products can then be delivered together, rather than in dozens of journeys from separate suppliers.

The service had saved many miles at Herefordshire-based Westons Cider, said national account manager Bob Patch. "By working in partnership with HEFF we now deliver centrally, which has reduced a large number of direct deliveries we would otherwise have made using our own vehicles," he said.

Patrice Garrigues, ethical trading manager for Midcounties Co-operative, said partnership with HEFF had been a success.

"Having a single point of order for several producers has reduced the amount of time spent placing orders. The deliveries are consolidated into one single drop that has also reduced our paper trail."