Sodexo has teamed up with an en EU-funded export programme to enable small UK and Ireland businesses to break into foodservice.
The catering and facilities management firm will work with Access 6 and its Scottish partner Scotland Food & Drink, to increase export sales for 90 food and drink manufacturers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This will see 90 new jobs created and allow employees at 400 SMEs to improve their skills. The aim is for sales to grow by €22m (£19m).
Food and drink consultancy Levercliff Associates have also come on board in a "mentor" capacity, t help share insights into consumer trends and sales plans.
Michelle Hanson, commercial director at Sodexo UK & Ireland said: "As a large-scale purchaser Sodexo is committed to the principles of sustainable food procurement, and the Access 6 programme fits perfectly with our approach to supplier diversity.
"Through providing these businesses with an insight into the challenges many SMEs encounter when trying to enter into the market, we will be enabling them to adapt their businesses accordingly and ultimately open doors into the foodservice market."
Sodexo has had a successful few months, winning the CSR Foodservice Catey Award in October, as well as signing several multimillion-pound deals including a five-year contract with Wellington College, a three-year deal with Santander and a franchise agreement with sandwich giant Subway.