Boost for Scottish suppliers as Waitrose marks a decade

Boost for Scottish suppliers as Waitrose marks a decade

This month marks 10 years since supermarket chain Waitrose opened its doors in Scotland, and since then has doubled the number of Scottish lines stocked in stores.

Since June 2006, producers across the nation have worked in partnership with the supermarket to distribute a wealth of Scottish food and drink.

Among the 800 suppliers, initially supplied only in Scottish stores before expanding UK wide, are Findlaters’ Fine Foods, Mo’s Cookie Dough, Stoats and Just:Gluten Free.

The chain also employs 1,200 people across its seven stores.

Tony Stone, CEO at Stoats said: “Waitrose was the first major retailer to stock our products and their backing in our early days gave us the experience and confidence to expand our business throughout the UK.” 

Martin Henderson, managing director of Findlater’s Fine Foods, added: “Since we started with Waitrose in 2010 we have been able to invest in better facilities and employ more people to help with production.

“Waitrose is a perfect fit for us and our handmade artisan pâté, dips and pies.”

Producers such as the Argyll Smokery, Perthshire’s Summer Harvest rapeseed oil and Simply Add Chilli have all grown with the supermarket in Scotland, supplying more stores as Waitrose opened in Glasgow, Newton Mearns, Stirling, Helensburgh and Milngavie.  

Alongside smaller producers, Waitrose has also been a firm supporter of the Scottish agricultural and aquaculture sectors, with all of the supermarket’s counter beef sourced from Scottish farmers, and Graham’s Dairy supplying all essential milk.

Waitrose managing director, Rob Collins, said: “The wealth and quality of Scottish food and drink is a real source of national pride and we are equally as proud to have played a part in helping showcase its finest producers. 

“We have established long-term relationships from the outset built on a shared passion for uncompromisingly good food, putting in place the foundations for us to continue to grow our Scottish supplier base. 

“To discover a new food or drink is just as exciting today as it was ten years ago to and to see so many of them now supplying our stores across the UK is incredibly rewarding.”

Stephanie Pritchard, Scotland Food and Drink’s access to markets manager, commented: “Waitrose has a clear commitment to sourcing Scottish products and they’ve played an important role in the development of several companies here.

“As the retailer continues its growth, we look forward to continuing our collaboration, further building the Scottish offering across their Scottish and UK stores.”