The European Independent Purchasing Company (EIPC), owned by franchisees of sandwich chain Subway, says it is now one of the biggest independent purchasers of food and paper in Europe.

The EIPC, which manages purchasing on behalf of some 2,000 Subway shops across the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Spain and Benelux, sources and supplies food, paper, equipment and utilities, and manages the supply chain for stores. Its total purchases for Subway franchisees across Europe is set to exceed £170m in 2007.

Bryan Griffiths, MD of EIPC, said: "In the UK and Ireland, Subway opened its 1,000th store earlier this year and has reached the 500-store milestone in Germany."