A local food supplier accreditation scheme is being launched next month for small businesses unable to meet the cost of working towards British Retail Consortium (BRC) standards.
The BRC worked with the NFU, British Hospitality Association and the Food & Drink Federation to form Safe & Local Supplier Approval (SALSA), which will allow local suppliers and producers to provide retail buyers with assurance that their produce meets food safety and legal requirements.
The NFU is keen to see a successful uptake in the scheme from growers, following increasing demand for locally sourced produce from national retailers. NFU food chain adviser Alice Pattinson said: “Demand for such a scheme has come from the large retailers. Tesco has made a commitment to becoming the largest supplier of locally sourced products, and is looking for a quality commitment from suppliers. Asda is also intending to make accreditation to the scheme a prerequisite for local-sourcing hubs.”
Institute of Food Science & Technology auditors will run the scheme independently in England and Wales, following a pilot in Scotland run by Scottish Food Quality Certification, which will continue to run the area scheme after its official launch on 18 March. Pattinson said: “The pilot has been successful so far. The participants had no previous experience in accreditation schemes and it has turned out to be a great learning experience.”
Businesses will pay an annual fee of £450 plus VAT to participate in the scheme and gain accreditation. The NFU hopes the scheme will lend itself to the approval of more Red Tractor suppliers at a local level.
* For further details, contact Chris Grimes at email@example.com
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