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    Co-op on lookout for small businesses to join support scheme for new suppliers

    Representative iStock image

    Co-op aims to create a ‘buzz’ amongst innovative and smaller-scale food and drink businesses as applications open to join its Apiary programme, an accelerated support scheme giving suppliers the opportunity to work towards a listing on the convenience retailer’s shelves.

    With six exciting new businesses hitting Co-op shelves at the end of last year, the search is now on for a third wave of values-led businesses who will work with the retailer throughout 2024 to take their high quality and innovative products on a journey towards being stocked in store.

    Applications can be submitted up until 5 February 2024, with Co-op again partnering with leading product discovery platform, RangeMe which will work closely with the convenience retailer to manage the application process.

    Co-op is looking for suppliers with a real point of difference, shared values and, which would promote further diversity and inclusion within the convenience retailer’s range.

    The successful applicants receive tailored support, mentoring and advice on all aspects of the product journey. This includes industry and consumer insight; technical support and, master-classes with industry experts. This is in addition to Co-op standing side-by-side with the suppliers to support the development of the product towards a listing in store. Post-launch support continues with access to sales trends and data, plus training and mentoring with industry leaders and sector specialists.

    Rebecca Oliver-Mooney, Co-op Head of Commercial for Drinks, Frozen, Community Buying & the Apiary, said, “ Co-op launched its Apiary programme two years ago to discover, mentor and support innovative new suppliers who share Co-op’s values and further promote diversity and inclusion within our range. Now moving into our third year, it is exciting to embark on the journey to find and, work closely, with a new wave of producers.

    “We look forward to hearing from smaller businesses with a real point of difference, those who are values-driven, and who offer something unique to interest, excite and inspire Co-op’s Member-owners and customers.”

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