Food-service wholesaler 3663 has launched a scheme to help caterers source food from local producers. The initiative will allow chefs to buy regional goods through one of 10 UK regional hubs, which will be used to collect local products.
Julie Moore, 3663 marketing controller, said: "Chefs prefer to use local ingredients, but it's always been hard to make this financially viable. We've found a way of handling local produce which limits additional costs."
The project is being piloted in Suffolk, where 100 products from 18 suppliers are available to caterers in the region. Premiums start at 10% for fruit and vegetable lines. Paul Willington, buying controller at 3663, said: "Our gross profit on the local products will be just below our normal range because we want to help local suppliers on to the ladder."
During this year's UK rollout, 3663 hopes to sign up 200 local suppliers.