Scottish convenience retailer, Scotmid, has boosted its supplier team with the appointment of a new local sourcing manager. The move reflects the Society’s continued commitment to supporting local suppliers across Scotland as it seeks to broaden its consumer offering, through the provision of great quality, great tasting Scottish produce.

Jessica Van Tromp has been appointed to the role after completing a two-year joint graduate programme with industry body, Scotland Food & Drink, after demonstrating a natural passion and commitment to championing the presence of local products in Scotmid stores.

During her placement with Scotmid, she held responsibility for buying management of 8 key Scottish suppliers and achieved sales growth of £376k with these suppliers. She also introduced 34 new Scottish products to Scotmid and introduced 15 new suppliers.

Jess spent time during the programme working within the organisation’s UK Market Development team, ensuring Scotmid shared best practice with the industry, through briefing events, workshops and learning journeys – as well as being involved in bringing partnerships between the retailer and suppliers, to life.

Jessica Van Tromp, 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 to maximise brand exposure and the opportunity for customers to buy and try.

Scotland Food & Drink’s graduate programme works with retail and foodservice partners, helping improve connections for Scottish suppliers. Its most recent graduate programme has been delivered through the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership’s Recovery Plan, funded by the Scottish Government. 

John Davidson, Deputy Chief Executive and Strategy Director at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Over the past two years, Jess has demonstrated a clear commitment to helping Scottish suppliers grow, and through this joint role has been able to bring that commitment and passion to life, working hard to create opportunities for both Scotmid and the suppliers with some outstanding achievements during that short time.

“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.

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