Fifteen food companies from across Northern Ireland have joined a six month Asda-led programme which aims to maximise their business potential, promote innovation, and ultimately boost sales.
Each is participating in the third Asda Supplier Development Academy (SDA), a joint initiative between the supermarket and Invest Northern Ireland which was first launched in 2012.
Since then, 22 NI food companies have participated in the initiative and have collectively generated over £11 million in additional sales.
To launch the 2019 academy, company representatives visited the supermarket’s headquarters in Leeds where they gained a better understanding of the systems and processes involved in trading with Asda.
Over the coming months the programme will cover topics including supply chain, account management, marketing and NPD/innovation.
Welcoming the companies to the supermarket’s HQ, Emma Swan, Asda’s Buying Manager – NI Local, said: “We’re delighted to once again support our local suppliers through this bespoke development academy which is very much focused on growth and opportunity.
“The success of the previous two SDAs is obvious, and we aim to continue this trend in 2019.
“As before, our approach is hands on and practical, and by taking steps such as refining commercial skills and practices, we will help these companies, which are already regarded as strong business partners, to unlock their full potential and build long term trading relationships.”
Welcoming the opportunity to support this third round of the Asda Supplier Development Academy, John Hood, Director Food and Drink at Invest NI, said: “This initiative will benefit 15 local food companies across a range of categories and at different stages in their relationship with Asda, from long-standing to new suppliers.
“The current retail environment is dynamic and consumer-focused, so the combination of insights, business mentoring and development planning provided by the academy is crucial to supporting suppliers in maintaining and developing their business with Asda, both locally and nationally.”