Distributor AF Blakemore has signed an innovative agreement with Heart of England Fine Foods to provide retailers in the Midlands with an easier way to source local produce.
The company has launched Heart Distribution, which will enable retailers to order goods from as many as 65 local producers on a single delivery, single invoice basis. Having received consolidated orders on day one, the producers will deliver to the Blakemore depot in Willenhall on day two, ready for delivery to stores on day three. While minimum drop sizes will apply to the delivery as a whole, the new scheme means that retailers will be able to order from each individual supplier in much smaller quantities than before.
Blakemore will start the scheme with three multi-temperature delivery vehicles with a view to expanding the operation over time.
AF Blakemore managing director Peter Blakemore said: "We know there is a very large number of retailers and caterers that are looking for an efficient and reliable one-stop delivery of quality local produce."
Karen Davies, chief executive of Heart of England Fine Foods, added: "One of the biggest problems for food and drink producers is the cost and logistical difficulty of distribution. The benefits for small retailers from this initiative will be huge."
The scheme is expected to be up and running in the next two weeks. Visit www.heff.co.uk for more details.