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.
A number of organisations provide valuable support services to those suppliers looking to work with a supermarket, especially if it is for the first time.
There are Regional Food Groups that provide a wide range of services for Local and Regional suppliers and we encourage potential suppliers to search online to discover more about the Food Groups and services available to them in their area.
Additional information for Local and Regional Suppliers, including information on the SALSA approval scheme, can be found using the following links:
SALSA Safe And Local Supplier Approval
DEFRA Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs