ASDA's Commitment to Local Suppliers
Local sourcing is a fundamental part of our business and continues to be as customers tell us more and more that they want local food on our shelves. Local sales are now as big as some core categories link fresh fish.
In September 2002, Sir Donald Curry, chairman of the Government’s Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food, called on farmers and retailers to follow our lead at the launch of a pioneering partnership with local Cumbrian food business, Plumgarths. The initiative has been a lunch-pad for a range of projects to find local products from small and micro suppliers for all Asda stores.
Local sourcing is about being at the heart of the local community. We define local products as those that are made locally, grown locally and reared locally; are a local taste or delicacy and recognised by customers as local and for which there is significant customer demand. So we won't take a sausage, call it a local sausage and sell it across all our stores, we have a different sausage for each region.
Dedicated Local Sourcing Team
We have a dedicated local sourcing and buying team whose sole aim is to identify local products and work with small suppliers to enable their products to reach our stores. The team enlists the support of regional food groups, the Asda local hub network and our own customers and colleagues to discover what the essential local brands are in each area.
Follw this link to the Aisle Spy blog by Paul Dover, our Customer Planning Manager for Local. http://aislespyblog.asda.com/local-sourcing
Local products often come from very small suppliers. Therefore it is important for us to make it as cheap, easy and risk-free as possible for these suppliers to do business with us. That means we have had to change the way we work. As a result we have introduced the following measures:
- We promise to support local products, doing everything we can to ensure they sell
- No costly technology needed – unlike other suppliers, local vendors don’t need to have an electronic information system that processes and receives orders and payments, all they need is an internet connection.
- Reduced payment terms – this helps ease cash flow problems
- Stripping out the jargon – many suppliers have never dealt with a large company like ours so we have simplified all our paperwork. Each local supplier is given a glossary and guide on how to complete the necessary paperwork
- Joint progress checks – every 4, 8 and 12 weeks progress checks are made by ourselves and the supplier
- Flexible delivering - a supplier can deliverdirect to store, into our depots or via our unique local hub network.
- Local/small supplier packs – packs are given to all new local vendors which explain how to source barcodes; how to receive orders; how to generate invoices; what to do in the event of a product recall and who at ASDA can be contacted out of hours
- Local supplier days – these are held regularly to bring all local suppliers together, fix teething problems and ensure they have access to as many members of the ASDA local sourcing team as possible.
- A supplier also has access to Customer Planning colleagues who can assist with marketing, packaging and PR to help them drive their sales.
How to Become an ASDA Supplier
- Do you have a product that is recognised as being 'local' or make sure it fits with the ASDA definition of local?
- Does your product have a barcode?
- Do you have third party technical approval?
- Do you have a broadband internet connection to receive orders?
- Do you have a fax machine to receive accounts communications?
- Download our policy on Branded local & ethnic products (below)
If you have all of the above, contact the Supplier Engagement team at Asda House, Leeds with your product proposal.
Next Steps - Direct to Store Delivery Guidelines
These guidelines are for suppliers who deliver direct to ASDA Stores. These will include Local suppliers and many bakery and dairy suppliers.
The guide should be used by new suppliers as a step by step guide from first making contact with their buyer. It can also be used by existing suppliers as a reference point for any problems they may encounter.
The objective of the document is to help suppliers with set up, direct delivery and booking-in procedures to ensure perfect payment, minimising mismatch for finance teams in ASDA House.
Download our payment pack
What We Do For Our Local Suppliers?
- We commit to doing everything we can to ensure a product sells.
- The opportunity to direct deliver to stores using our unique hub network making deliveries cost effective for both parties.
- Flexibility regarding minimum orders and order frequency.
- Easy ordering system.
- Advice on electronic ordering, marketing and technical issues.
- Local marketing support with ASDA local branding.
- Working together with regional food groups.
- Payment terms to suit all.
- Easy to follow processes.
- A training day at ASDA House or a regional depot.
Local Supplier Information
It can take as little as 4 weeks from our identifying a product for that product to appear on a store shelf. Here are a few examples of the current bestsellers:
- Plumgarths Cumberland sausage
- Yorkshire farmhouse eggs
- Lancashire Eccles cakes
- Jeff the Chefs Chicken Parmo
- Forest of Bowland Milk
- Edwards of Conwy Pies
- Dyffryn Tywi Ice Cream
- Lake District Cheese
- Porky White Sausages
- Bartons Piccallili
- Simon Howie Bacon
- North Staffordshire Oatcakes
- Braces Bread
- Bury Black Pudding
- GJ Simmons pork scratchings
Key Local regions supported by our food hubs
- Scotland – Taylors of Scotland local food hub
- Northeast – Lanchester Dairies local food hub
- Northwest – Transfresh Northwest local food hub
- Cumbria – Plumgaths foods local food hub
- Yorkshire – Yorkshire Farmhouse Market local food hub
- Hull and Lincolnshire – Ideal Lincs local food hub
- West Midlands - Transfresh West Midlands local food hub
- East Midlands – Transfresh East Midlands local food hub
- M1 corridor – Luton Hoo local food hub
- East Anglia – Elvedon local food hub
- Southwest – Taylors Southwest local food hub
- Wales – Taylors Wales local food hub
- Southeast and London – Invicta local food hub
- Number of local lines/suppliers
There are now over 3,000 regional lines with local products in all our stores. These lines come from both our national and regional supply base e.g. Malcolm Allen Pies and Sausages in Scotland, Peter's Pies and Pasties, and Braces Bread in Wales.
In addition there are over 300 different local producers supplying ASDA with more than 3,000 truly local products on a store by store basis.
Local Sourcing Awards
ASDA has won several awards related to local sourcing.
Asda was runner up in the BBC's Food and Farming awards 2003 in the Best National/Regional Retailer category. Asda's local sourcing computer system was praised by the judges for enabling individual stores to request products relevant to local customers.
ASDA's local sourcing initiative at Plumgarths was also recognised by the IGD. The prestigious Ian MacLaurin Award for Supply Chain Excellence was presented to ASDA at the Institute of Grocery Distributor’s Food Industry Awards 2003 staged in London.
The award is made to the company that has had a real impact on the supply chain, demonstrating a major step change over and above everyday trading requirements, with innovative, sustainable initiatives.
ASDA has won the 2008 Grocer award for local business initiative for the work completed on the local Hub Network.
Most recently Asda was shortlisted for a Grocer Gold Award for Customer Initiative of the Year 2009 for it's research into Customers regional preferences.
ASDA also stocks a number of Award winning local products...
Andrew Jones knew he was on to a good thing with his winning pork pies. The challenge was how to reach a wider Audience – he now supplies ASDA with his award winning pork pies.
What's New - Concessions
2009 has seen us step up the number of Local Concessions we put in our stores - another unique project in UK retailing. We used our experience setting up Ethnic Concessions and in certain stores we have partnered successful local business and given them the space in our stores to trade under their own brand name.
Here is McGees Meat Counter in Northern Ireland, Riddlers Fish in Newton Abbott and Rowes Pasties in St. Austell.
Plumgarths, Best of the Lakes
This groundbreaking venture brought more than 80 local products direct from the farm to the supermarket shop floor and signalled a change in the way supermarkets work with Britain’s smallest suppliers. The 18 suppliers involved in this initiative include one-person operations working from their home kitchen.
Cumbrian livestock farmer, John Geldard had a vision to reconnect the food chain by linking small specialist food producers with a major supermarket. In September 2002, John and his family opened the Plumgarths Lakelands Food Park, a hub for farmers and cottage industries, which included a farm shop and high quality food production units that are supported by marketing and technical specialists.
John already had a relationship with ASDA after becoming a local supplier some years earlier, supplying first the Kendal store and then other Northwest stores with eggs from his farm, so he approached ASDA with his Plumgarths initiative. ASDA’s local sourcing team joined forces with John to make the final link in the chain and give these products a route to market. The initiative is a launch-pad for a range of projects to find local products from small suppliers for all ASDA stores.