As the industry continues to feel the impact of the cost of living crisis, Bidfood, one of the UK’s leading wholesalers, has announced it will be launching a brand new initiative – Open Doors Programme, this October.

The scheme will identify the most innovative and interesting brands from small food and beverage suppliers trying to establish themselves within the market, by raising awareness of their brands and supporting the development of their businesses.

With inflation taking its toll on the industry, confidence from small business owners is wavering. This is more so the case for those in the food sector who have seen a nearly 20% dip in confidence that their business will grow.

Bidfood’s Open Doors Programme aims to help small suppliers overcome these obstacles by increasing their presence in the wholesale space and ultimately, their selling power.

Developed with SME expert and former supplier to Bidfood, Andrew Allen will be working with Bidfood’s technical services, buying, procurement and marketing teams to create a range of activities designed to nurture, champion and accelerate emerging suppliers.

In addition to this, the Open Doors Programme will pose as a valuable asset for Bidfood customers, who will get access to the most exciting, future-facing products landing in the market. A key target that will support the wholesaler’s vision to be a positive force for change.

An Open Door Conference, taking place on 2nd October, will mark the inception of the initiative, where small business suppliers will gain insight into the strategic aims of Bidfood, its customers and what it takes to build a winning proposition within the channel.

Andrew Selley, CEO of Bidcorp UK said: “The Open Doors Programme represents a significant cross-business commitment towards smaller suppliers.

“We understand the uniquely challenging environment smaller suppliers have faced in the last few years, whilst also recognising the important role they play in fostering diverse innovation within our industry. The Open Doors Programme is designed to provide true opportunities for these businesses, by identifying, nurturing and then accelerating them within our network.

“This scheme goes hand in hand with our vision to be a positive force for change as we are investing in the future of the supplier base. And then for our customers, we’ll be presenting them with the most interesting suppliers that are best aligned with their needs and values. I can’t wait to see what’s out there and most importantly, support their growth and development.”

SME expert, Andrew Allen added: “I’ve experienced first-hand both the incredible opportunities and challenges, related to being an emerging smaller supplier in foodservice. Whilst the retail sector has made significant inroads of late when it comes to smaller supplier opportunities, in my view, foodservice has fallen behind.

“What started as a question to Andrew Selley has led to an understanding that Bidfood shares my view of the opportunity, and it’s been a pleasure building the Open Doors Programme with the team! Together we aim to champion the role of the sector and help accelerate the best emerging suppliers down the road of success.”

More information regarding the Open Doors Programme will be available soon via a dedicated webpage.