17 Jul 6 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Food Supplier
Looking for a food supplier that can cater to your needs isn’t an easy task.
Whether you’re a business looking to sell large amounts of food and needing to buy in bulk but have flexibility on orders and the number of deliveries, or a smaller business that sells a small amount but still need a consistent supply, you need to make sure that you’re asking the right questions.
Missing some of the finer details can mean that your food supply is put in jeopardy.
How to Choose Your Food Supplier
When choosing a food supplier, there is a wide variety of factors that you must take into account to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible, not just in terms of price, logistics and availability but the impact on the environment as well.
Here at JR Holland, we’ve put together a list of the six most important questions that we believe you should ask your food supplier that you may otherwise overlook.
1. What are the logistics?
This combines many questions into one, but you’ll need detailed information about when deliveries will take place, how often and what form it will be delivered in.
The turnaround time is also a major factor. What happens if you need an item the next day, can the wholesaler work around your needs?
These are all factors that will be imperative to address, as the last thing you want as a business is for critical items to be left out of stock due to a supplier error.
2. Are all the products you need available?
You will need to check if all the key items for your business are stocked by the distributor. Some specialist niche items may need to be bought separately if it’s something that is specific to your business and wouldn’t be stocked by a general wholesaler, however it’s always worth checking as the item may be more common than you think.
3. How is everything packaged?
If there are excess packaging and deliveries are early in the morning, you may find that you’ll need an employee to start work earlier which may be less than ideal.
Alternatively, if deliveries are late in the night or not packaged enough, you may find that unloading the goods takes longer than anticipated which can lead to problems further down the road for your business.
Packaging can also be inadequate in not keeping the food at the right temperature, especially if you need it to be a certain temperature as it can’t instantly be put into fridges/freezers because of a logistical issue.
4. What is your record on the environment, and what steps do you take to protect it?
Consumers are no longer just looking for companies to be sustainable, eco-friendly and to cut their own carbon emissions, they are now beginning to scrutinise companies entire supply chain in order to make sure that when they buy a product, their own environmental impact is as minimal as possible.
If a company sources goods from outside the UK which could otherwise be found here, the cost of transporting those goods as well as the carbon emissions will have an impact on how your customers, employees and investors will view your business.
Buying in bulk and keeping an eye on the amount of packaging being used is also paramount to the environmental impact of a supplier. Ask them what kind of packaging they use, whether it’s responsible and if you can buy in bulk;k to reduce the amount of packaging needed for each delivery.
4.2. Quick side note:
It is also important to make sure that when goods are bought from outside the UK, that the suppliers are getting an equitable price for their goods and there is no child labour is being used in their supply chain.
5. What are your food safety protocols?
Food safety is extremely important to consider when choosing a food supplier. The last thing you want is to have a food poisoning incident which will deliver negative PR and can be tragic for your business.
Make sure that your food supplier is following all of the food and safety regulations that you will follow yourself to ensure the safety of all your customers.
6. Do you have any testimonials?
Seeing what testimonials have been made about the potential supplier is also very important to get a grasp on their industry reputation and how well they treat their customers.
Many testimonials are given after the company has done something extraordinary for a customer, or after they have provided a strong service for a long time, so checking for these will be very beneficial.
Speak to Us
Here at JR Holland, we are a leading foodservice provider that caters to you and your customer’s needs. We are based in Newcastle and have more than 37 years of experience in supplying the biggest names in catering the most high quality, fresh food six days a week from our distribution depot in Gateshead.
If you wish to have a chat and maybe ask us some of these questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
JR Holland are a food service company based in the North East. We are wholesale fruit & vegetable suppliers and provide national chilled distribution.