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 launch-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.
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.