Acccess 6 Announce Channel Partner for UK Cluster

Access 6 has announced an exciting partnership with the world’s largest food services company, Sodexo.

Sodexo has a strong heritage in food providing meals for school children and hospital patients, to corporate catering for staff restaurants through to fine dining at major events such as Royal Ascot.

Members of its procurement team will provide SME’s on the programme with expert knowledge and advice on how to trade successfully in foodservice in London and the South together with an understanding of the opportunities and challenges of working with a major foodservice organisation.

Michelle Hanson, commercial director for Sodexo UK & Ireland commented: “As a large-scale purchaser Sodexo is committed to the principles of sustainable food procurement, and the Access 6 programme fits perfectly with our approach to supplier diversity.

“Through providing these businesses with an insight into our business and the challenges many SMEs encounter when trying to enter into the market, we will be enabling them to adapt their businesses accordingly and ultimately open doors into the foodservice market.”

Additional support has also been secured through the recruitment of Levercliff Associates, a leading food and drink market consultancy, who will join the programme as an industry mentor.

Having worked on similar programmes before, Levercliff Associates will work as mentors and share further knowledge of the London and Southern English markets, working closely with each SME over the next 12 months. The aim is to give SMEs the skills and knowledge to successfully trade in this new environment. Mentors will also share insights into consumer trends, and opportunities, and help SMEs develop their propositions, marketing and sales plans.

Work on the London and South England cluster will now commence, with 12 businesses based in Western Scotland, the border counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland already signed up to participate.

Beyond the UK, additional clusters will also be established targeting export markets in France, Benelux, Germany, Scandinavia and North America, offering further opportunities to other SME’s across the focus regions.