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Asda sets up training programme for new suppliers

25 January 2016

Asda has launched a skills academy for suppliers in Scotland to understand the requirements of the retail sector. 

The six month training programme, funded with a £40,000 grant from the Scottish government, is open to current or potential Asda suppliers in Scotland. 

Previous rounds of the programme saw participants increase their sales by up to 330 per cent.  

“We place huge importance on supporting local suppliers in growing their business, no matter how big or small,” said Michael McCallion, Senior Buying Manager, Scotland & Northern Ireland, Asda.

“Where Asda can take a local product and find it a national or even international market then the benefits are multiple: sales increase, customers get better choice and quality, and suppliers get the confidence and scale to make the move from small to medium to large businesses. Invariably that means more local jobs and more investment with local primary producers.

“Asda’s Supplier Development Academy presents a unique opportunity for new and experienced suppliers to strengthen their understanding of modern-day retail, along with refining their commercial and marketing practices and skills. It also helps to deliver what our customers tell us they want – high-quality, great value Scottish products on Asda shelves.”

So far 30 companies have signed up, including Graham’s The Family Dairy, Malcolm Allan, Stoats, Thistly Cross Cider, McKechnie Jess and Scotty Brand. It will begin next month. 

Robert Graham, Managing Director at Graham’s The Family Dairy, said his company has been an Asda supplier for 15 years.

He said the course “provides a unique insight into supermarket trading disciplines and allows us to develop relationships with Head Office, which in turn helps us expand south of the border”.

He added: “We look forward to taking part in this year’s Asda Academy and exploring new ways to continue to grow our market in Scotland and beyond.”

It is the third time the academy has been run. Scotland Food and Drink Chief Executive James Withers, said the industry body would add its support because of how useful it was.

“This programme delivers because it focuses on skills, capability building and collaboration with suppliers, meaning they are stronger and more successful for their involvement,” he said. 

“The track record of this work is fantastic but we all feel there are still many opportunities to unlock, hence the new programme.”

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