Asda plans to increase the availability of social enterprise products on supermarket shelves after joining forces with Social Investment Scotland (SIS) to launch the UK’s first dedicated “supplier development academy”.
The initiative is being funded via £750,000 in Scottish carrier bag charge revenues from the grocery giant and it will support up to eight Scottish social enterprises, boosting their understanding of supermarket retail and honing their commercial and marketing skills. If successful, Asda hopes to roll out the social enterprise academy across England and Wales in the coming months.
Alastair Davis, chief executive of SIS, said: “By promoting social enterprise products as viable alternatives to their commercial counterparts, we have a fantastic opportunity to significantly increase the revenues raised by the sector and, in turn, create much more sustainable and long-term social impacts for our communities.”
Asda’s senior director for Scotland, Allan Miller, added: “Our partnership with SIS represents an exciting move beyond traditional grant-making programmes, providing tangible benefits for people across Scotland.
“Investing in social entrepreneurs is an innovative way for Asda to ensure that our customers’ money, raised through the carrier bag charge, is continually reinvested in communities and delivers long-term positive benefits for Scotland.”