Successful partnerships between suppliers and customers are vital in driving the baking industry forward. To help encourage and recognise the strong relationships that have been built in the sector, Sainsbury’s is delighted to once again sponsor Bakery Supplier of the Year.

This award is open to ALL kinds of bakery suppliers, whether you are a small artisan bakery, mid-sized craft operation or large, industrial manufacturer. Likewise, the type of customer you supply could be anyone from local restaurants and corner stores to major foodservice outlets, wholesalers or supermarkets. Size is not important. What is vital about this award, however, is that entrants demonstrate how they have developed a successful partnership with a customer. Please note, you do not have to be a supplier to Sainsbury’s to enter this award.

Judges will be looking for evidence of how companies have identified a gap in the market, achieved quality standards and distribution, and set about using these to build strong relationships with their customers.

"We are looking for suppliers to present an example of an excellent supplier-customer partnership that has delivered a step-change in the customer offer," says Sainsbury’s category manager for bakery Nick Townend. "Seeking out the best in the industry will create a strong platform from which to face the current economic situation, as well as striving to deliver our environmental responsibilities."

Entrants should be able to show investment in the customer offering through innovation, quality and/or value, which has fuelled growth. Companies that strive to achieve operational excellence, underpinned by a passion for quality and product safety, should enter this award. As should those who have raised standards of corporate responsibility.

"The bakery category has played an important role in Sainsbury’s success in recent years, with strong and consistent sales and market share growth," says Townend. "Building strong partnerships with suppliers has been a key pillar in our success. We have seen this delivered through innovative new products, as well as major changes in our corporate responsibility through our unique flour sourcing contract. This gives full farmer- to-bakery traceability."

If you can demonstrate how you have built a successful partnership with one of your customers, then phone for an entry form today.


=== WC Rowe managing director Alan Pearce on winning the award last year ===

"It is testimony to a lot of years of hard work and dedication by the team, and acknowledgement from the industry, which is very important to us. When you win something, my first feeling is for the staff, as it’s great for them. Everyone did a fantastic job and we were very proud to be nominated, and to be recognised for doing a good job. However, it’s all very well saying that we’re the best, but now we’ve got to carry on being the best - I use it as a bit of a motivating tool.

"It was the first time I had been to an awards night, but I felt very much at ease all evening, and I really did enjoy it. It was nice to meet people, because the baking industry is an incredible trade - you can still go to bed at night excited about what you’re going to do the next day."