Food and drink producers from the Lothians have been pitching their wares to Morrisons in a bid to secure a place on the supermarket’s shelves.
The Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company, Loanhead-based Stewart Brewing and Yester Farm Dairies, from Gifford, were given the opportunity to showcase their produce at an event held in Musselburgh last week.
The Foodmaker Programme – a search for local suppliers – was launched by the supermarket in February after research found that its customers wanted more food and drink produced “just down the road”, in their own communities.
Around 140 producers from across Scotland applied to take part in the regional programme and 18 of the best were invited to Fisherrow Community Centre, where they pitched to Morrisons’ buyers, customers and store representatives. Those thought to have what it takes to supply stores will be invited to a final round at the company’s head office in Bradford.
Morrisons, the UK’s fourth largest supermarket, already stocks a variety of Scottish produce and last year introduced 150 new Scottish lines.
Angus Bell, local category manager for Scotland said: “Scotland has a long history of great, local food and the producers we’ve seen today have been no exception. After seeing the quality of the food here in Scotland, we’re keen to put even more food made in the country on our customers’ plates.”
Yester Farm Dairies Ltd, which produces a range of soft cheeses and cultured creams, has already received positive feedback.
“Morrisons foodmaker programme is a fantastic opportunity to bring food back to the local regions and gives consumers the option of choosing more locally sourced products,” said Phil Morgan, who runs the dairies’ sales and marketing. “When we converted the grain shed on our farm several years ago, our dream was to see our artisan soft cheese products on as many shelves as possible. We’d be absolutely over the moon if we were successful.”