Anthony Davidson Founder, Bigbarn.co.uk
We believe there is a strong market out there for local food and that more people should get involved in selling it.
An increasing number of people are looking to buy local food and we want to help them.
If a retailer wants to start selling local produce the first thing they should do is take a look around their area and see what kind of producers can supply to them. Try and find a meat producer or farmer and talk to them about supplying you.
They can also do this by looking on the internet.
We set up bigbarn.co.uk to help people find out where they can get local food and it is a very easy service to use.
People simply have to log on and type in their postcode and they can see all the local producers in their area. Shop owners can also log on and find out who their local suppliers are and then get in touch.
Alternatively, shops can register as a local food retailer so that people looking for local food can locate them on a map.
There are about 7,500 producers, retailers and farmers' markets on the website at the moment.
Lucy Harris Director, The Local Food Directory
There are lots of different ways to go about sourcing local food.
First you need to consider what type of local products you want to sell and in what quantity because farmers often deal in large quantities and may not want to supply in small amounts.
Farmers' markets are a great place to find what products are available in your area and are also a good way to build contacts. You can speak to producers face to face and find out how their goods are produced, where they come from and whether they are organic. It is important to know as much about any local products you may want to stock as possible so you can answer any questions your customers may have.
The internet is a great resource to find local producers.
You can search The Local Food Directory online to find out where your nearest suppliers are. There are 400 suppliers listed in the directory at the moment but we hope to have 1,000 by the end of the year.
We are also going to produce local directories for different areas from the end of the year to give people a quick guide to the local producers in their area.
Andrew Opie Food policy director, BRC
The British Retail Consortium and other food industry bodies run a food safety scheme that makes it easier and cheaper for small food producers to supply retailers directly.
Retailers recognise the rising consumer demand for local food and want to add to the choice in their stores. They want to take more high-quality products from the thousands of small producers out there but they need to be assured on food safety. The year-old Safe and Local Supplier Approval (SALSA) scheme is a solution.
SALSA works with local producers to make sure they have robust food safety procedures in place. Being SALSA-certified means producers can show retailers they meet the necessary food safety requirements. It also ensures retailers can have confidence in their suppliers without the wasteful duplication of every supplier having to be inspected by every retailer they do business with.
By reducing the costs of achieving food safety recognition, SALSA opens the doors of more retailers to small suppliers and can be a stepping stone for them to grow. Consumers, local producers and retailers all benefit.