Scotmid Co-op has boosted its supplier team with the appointment of a new local sourcing manager as it looks to build on its commitment to supporting local suppliers.
Jessica Van Tromp has been appointed to the role after completing a two-year joint graduate programme with industry body, Scotland Food & Drink.
Scotmid says she showed a “natural passion and commitment to championing the presence of local products” during a placement in its stores, when she held responsibility for buying management of eight key suppliers and achieved sales growth of £376k.
She also introduced 34 new Scottish products to Scotmid and introduced 15 new suppliers.
Ms Van Tromp also worked within the organisation’s UK Market Development team, sharing best practice with the industry, through briefing events, workshops and learning journeys, and helping to develop partnerships between the co-op and its suppliers.
She said: “I’m thrilled to have secured this job with Scotmid through Scotland Food & Drink’s graduate programme – to be able to work in a role that allows me to indulge in my passion for all things food and drink is amazing. Scotmid is committed to investing further in its partnerships with local suppliers, which will help them to both grow and expand their business as well allow us to offer exciting, locally sourced Scottish products to our customers.
“We know that they enjoy buying local, for both quality and taste as well as the desire to help boost the economy through supporting Scottish businesses. I’m really looking forward to working with more of them and to expanding our relationships even more widely in my new role.”
Kirsty Carnegy, head of local sourcing at Scotmid, said: “Having Jessica on board is a great win for Scotmid as we seek to extend our involvement with local suppliers. We have seen first-hand her hard work, determination and passion for Scottish provenance, which is reflected in the impact she has already made. She has played an integral role in introducing several innovative new products to Scotmid stores across Scotland, which our customers have been enjoying.”
In collaboration with Scotland Food and Drink, Jessica helped launch a Scotland-wide competition last year, offering local food and drink producers the chance to win one of five promotional listings. These five brands have now been selected, with the first – Findowie Farmhouse Venison Chilli – made available in 30 stores in key locations.
John Davidson, deputy CEO and strategy director at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Over the past two years, Jess has demonstrated a clear commitment to helping Scottish suppliers grow.
“Scotmid has a clear commitment to support Scottish suppliers, bringing the best quality products to their customers. We hope to work with Scotmid on a graduate role in the future. In the meantime, we will continue doing what we can to find future talent to help us grow the Scottish supply base in both the retail and foodservice industries”