Championing regional suppliers
If you would like to supply Waitrose, you need to meet the standards of the Small Producers' Charter.
As a guide, however, here are some simple points to consider:
- Quality - Waitrose looks for suppliers who offer quality ingredients combined with very high standards of preparation and cooking skills.
- Provenance and integrity - ingredients should be simple, recognisable and, where possible, sourced from the local region.
- Presentation - check your product has visual appeal and appropriate packaging.
- Offer point of difference - innovative products are most likely to compliment the existing Waitrose offer.
There are some key points that any potential supplier needs to be aware of supplying safe and legal food.
- Waitrose require all suppliers to show they have a comprehensive HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) which is documented, implemented and subject to continual update and review. It is also essential for suppliers to demonstrate the competency and qualifications of the person who writes and manages the HACCP on a day to day basis.
- Traceability is not just a legal requirement, but essential for Waitrose local and regional suppliers to ensure the claims made on pack and other marketing statements are substantiated. Traceability means suppliers must be able to demonstrate they can establish the origin of all their raw materials and show documentation of supplier names and batch codes. Traceability systems must also be able to show where all the manufactured product is sold in case of of product recalls.
- The SALSA (Safe And Local Supplier Approval) scheme has recently been launched at the IFE and Waitrose endorse the principles of this scheme and will look to integrate this scheme into their local and regional sourcing strategies in the future. The scheme is designed to help local and regional food and drink producers by offering both mentoring and auditing to ensure safe and legal products, giving Waitrose assurance of product compliance.
- All products require a bar code to be sold in our stores.
There are many ways to become a Waitrose supplier but the preferred route is through the regional food groups. We do find new suppliers through other routes but the benefit to the supplier is that by contacting their local regional food group in the first instance, they can offer help and guidance in the selection process.
Working in partnership with regional food groups enables us to benefit from their extensive knowledge of local suppliers, ensuring that we source products which our customers regard as local and regional. The groups understand what Waitrose are looking for in terms of provenance, quality, taste, packaging and food safety standards, ensuring that potential suppliers meet our criteria.
The regional food groups provide a valuable support service to those suppliers looking to work with a supermarket, especially if it is for the first time. For further information on other trade development opportunities, available through the regional food groups programmes, please use the links below.
Regional food group contacts
Find your nearest regional food group
East Midlands Fine Foods
0115 875 8884
Taste South East
Taste of Anglia
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Heart of England Fine Foods
Taste North East
Taste of the West
Scotland Food & Drink
0131 335 0948