SWA Wholesale Local Food Champion programme enters next phase

James Stewart, one of the champions

Fourteen individuals from across a number of Scottish Wholesale Association members have already named a Wholesale Local Food Champion as part of the SWA’s recently launched training programme.

Supported by the Scottish Government, the initiative’s next round of workshops will take place on July 26-27 – delivered online to SWA members.

An extension of the SWA’s successful Delivering Growth Through Wholesale (DGTW) producer initiative, launched in 2021 and a collaboration with SAOS and Scotland Food & Drink, the Wholesale Local Food Champion project’s aim is to encourage Scotland’s wholesalers to identify individuals who collectively take responsibility for shaping the local sourcing strategy within their business.

As part of the wider DGTW programme, 100 producers have participated in workshops designed to help improve and encourage engagement between Scottish producers and wholesalers, in a market worth £2.9 billion to the Scottish economy.

The fifth round of the DGTW workshops will take place on August 23-24, aimed at producers of all sizes, from new start-ups to established businesses and those who need greater understanding and knowledge of the Scottish wholesale channel. The programme provides producers with tools and information to help them maximise opportunities within the wholesale industry.

Read more: SWA launches local food programme

Colin Smith, SWA chief executive said: “The DGTW programme has really struck a chord with producers and wholesalers alike, and it’s been hugely satisfying to see producers gain a much better understanding of the scale of the wholesale industry, how it works, and the benefits and opportunities it can deliver for producers of all sizes.

“For wholesalers, the Local Food Champion programme enables them to tell producers about their commitment to local sourcing, what they are looking for, how they operate, and how to maximise sales once a listing is agreed.”

John Forteith, chair of the SWA DGTW steering group and who also delivers the training programme with Levercliff and SAOS, added: “Having a delivery programme that helps train and educate both the buyer and seller creates a common language that both can relate to.

“At our first Meet the Wholesaler event in March 2022, over 50 suppliers met with 30 wholesale buyers to showcase their products and spark new business opportunities.

“It’s really exciting and a future phase of the Wholesale Local Food Champion programme will see them forge relationships with local food co-ordinators across Scotland to tap into the food tourism opportunity.”

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Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. He can be found on Twitter at @BW_PaulHill, or contacted via paul.hill@newtrade.co.uk and 07960935659.


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