SPAR UK Partner supports local and independently grown produce

December 2, 2019 IN THE CATEGORY: Own Brand and Suppliers, Responsible retailing, Sourcing

James Hall & Co., SPAR license holder for the North of England, are celebrating a successful year of championing local, independent fruit and vegetable producers supplying to SPAR stores across the North of the country.

Wilf Whittle, Fresh Trading Manager at James Hall & Co. said: “The North West of England has an abundance of dedicated producers who provide SPAR customers with quality, local produce that has only travelled a few miles from field to fork. The aim of refreshing our offering was to reduce carbon emissions, support local producers and to offer our network of independent SPAR retailers the many benefits that come with buying British.

“We buy local where we can, although sometimes we are restricted by seasonality and weather conditions. Buying from local producers can minimise the supply chain, ensure quality control and traceability while building a strong working relationship with local producers who are eager to provide a great service.”

Paul Freemantle, Produce & Horticulture Trading Controller at James Hall & Co. said: “Lancashire has a rich heritage of independent farmers and I think many customers will be surprised to learn what you can buy locally. Debbie and Ashleigh Johnson have been growing chillies in Lancashire for over 20 years, just 18 miles from our SPAR Distribution Centre in Preston.”

This is just one example of the variety of British produce which is sourced and made available for SPAR customers. Local sourcing goes hand in hand with the goal of reducing plastic usage and waste in the fruit and vegetable section, primarily through the promotion of loose produce.

In addition to minimising plastic waste, local suppliers gain more flexibility in the quantities that they have to provide, meaning that less waste is generated, and customers can purchase fresh produce that has been picked that very same day.

Source: SPAR UK

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The UK became a member of SPAR in 1956 when a group of independent wholesalers was granted the SPAR licence by SPAR International. There are five regional partners in the UK with strategically placed Distribution Centres in each region. A central office, located in London, provides national marketing and buying services for the group and supports the development of the brand.

SPAR has led the convenience market in the UK for many years but has faced increasing competition. Always innovative, the five regional partners have continued to grow the brand. Throughout the UK, a combination of independently-owned licensed retailers and company-owned stores can be found, spanning forecourts, airports, train stations, city centres, and local neighbourhoods.

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