The key to buying food stuff is negotiating with suppliers to purchase the goods you want at a good price. As a buyer it is your responsibility to shop around to find the best quality for your customers. This can be a challenge when buying perishable products such as fruit and vegetables.
Buying gets a lot easier when you have built up a list of suppliers which you can switch between. If you order in bulk you can often negotiate free delivery, which means you can consider suppliers further afield.
Where to find suppliers
Fruit and vegetable wholesalers
There are two main fruit and vegetable wholesalers which supply Scotland.
- Markets Group, Glasgow City Council, 130 Blochairn Road, Glasgow G21 2DU, 0141 287 2500
- Total Produce, Bankhead Way, Sighthill Industrial Estate, Edinburgh EH1 4FB, 0131 458 6060
Their vans set off early every morning with fresh produce to retailers, processors and restaurants across Scotland. You don’t have to place a bulk order to use wholesale markets but you do have to be prepared to deal with suppliers who will prioritise the largest order that day.
Here are some ideas for rooting out locally produced food supplies in your area:
- Find out when and where your local farmers’ market is held though Scottish Association of Farmers’ Markets
- Join the local food network Nourish Scotland
- Fife Diet may also have contacts
- Local community gardens or city farms may well have produce to sell, find them through Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens
Cash-and-carries can offer lower prices on many lines – see ‘Directories’ below to find your nearest one. To make a purchase you may be asked to become a member or purchase a minimum amount.
Community food initiatives
Get in touch with other initiatives and find out who their suppliers are. Find your local community shops and cafes on our maps:
or search our directory of community food initiatives.
Larger community food initiatives may even be able to supply you with food – try:
- Edinburgh Community Food
- Community Food Initiatives North East
- Lanarkshire Community Food and Health Partnership
- Community Food Moray
- East Lothian Roots & Fruits
If you’re looking for ethical and wholefoods, try one of Scotland’s wholefood co-operatives:
The Scottish Wholesale Association also has a directory of member wholesalers and suppliers.
You could also ask other local businesses in your area who they use.
- Development of a produce supply chain between community growers, caterers, and retailers in Edinburgh: feasibility study (CFHS/Blake Stevenson 2011)