Gatwick Diamond Initiative proves vital

Gatwick Diamond Initiative proves vital

This year’s Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers event, held on 14 July at the Arora Hotel in Crawley, once again demonstrated the power of face-to-face negotiations in building strong local supply chains.

The event is the longest running of its type in the UK and is sponsored by the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, Gatwick Airport, Crawley Borough Council, Horsham District Council, West Sussex County Council, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Arora Hotel Gatwick Crawley.

It attracted 93 local companies supplying a wide range of products and services. Also in attendance were purchasing managers from some of the largest and most influential companies in the Gatwick Diamond such as Gatwick Airport, Southern Water and Balfour Beatty.  

The event bridges the gap between large buyers and smaller suppliers to drive local economic growth. For small and medium enterprises in particular, one of the biggest supply chain challenges is getting their products and services seen by the right people within larger companies. 

Jeff Alexander, executive director at the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, said: “Many traditional supply chain barriers can be broken down simply by putting the right people together in a room – and Meet the Buyers does just that!  Over the past six years, 1,500 local businesses have attended, generating in excess of £22.5m in new business.”

Gatwick Airport is a regular attendee at Meet the Buyers. Stewart Wingate, CEO, added: “It is an invaluable opportunity to forge relationships with new suppliers and to build on relationships with our current suppliers. 

“Gatwick’s involvement over the past 15 years has generated greater opportunities for local businesses to tap into the airport’s supply chain and the chance to collaborate with regional partners in the Gatwick Diamond helps us play a positive role in the wider economy.”