Food and drink wholesaler Bidfood has announced today it will be launching a new initiative to support small food and drinks suppliers.
The scheme, named the Open Doors Programme, will launch next month and aim to identify and support brands and suppliers trying to establish themselves within the market.
Andrew Allen, an SME expert and former supplier to Bidfood, developed the scheme and will work with Bidfood's technical services, buying, procurement and marketing teams to create a range of activities designed to support emerging suppliers.
In addition, the programme will enable current Bidfood customers to gain access to the new suppliers and their products coming to market.
An Open Door Conference, taking place on 2 October, will mark the beginning of the initiative, where small business suppliers will gain insight into the strategic aims of Bidfood, and its customers.
Andrew Selley, chief executive of Bidcorp UK said: "The Open Doors Programme represents a significant cross-business commitment towards smaller suppliers.
"We understand the uniquely challenging environment smaller suppliers have faced in the last few years, whilst also recognising the important role they play in fostering diverse innovation within our industry."
He added the scheme "goes hand in hand with our vision to be a positive force for change as we are investing in the future of the supplier base".
Allen said: "It's been a pleasure building the Open Doors Programme with the team. Together, we aim to champion the role of the sector and help accelerate the best emerging suppliers down the road of success."