County growers take on the ‘Big Six’ supermarkets

Philip Edge of Bearfaced Groceries with suppliers.''Picture: Jason Lock'Image caption: Dave Wells (J Heler), Wilf Whittle (Sharrocks), Howard Kelly (Neves Fleetwood), Richard Jones (Morning Foods), Catherine Sadler (Morning Foods) and Christopher Greaves (H Greaves), with Philip Edge.'.

Philip Edge of Bearfaced Groceries with suppliers.''Picture: Jason Lock'Image caption: Dave Wells (J Heler), Wilf Whittle (Sharrocks), Howard Kelly (Neves Fleetwood), Richard Jones (Morning Foods), Catherine Sadler (Morning Foods) and Christopher Greaves (H Greaves), with Philip Edge.'.

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Lancashire food and drink producers have teamed up with a new online grocery retailer to mount a challenge to the “Big Six” supermarkets.

Fuelled by a desire to provide natural food at fair prices to the region, Bearfaced Groceries is seeking to remove the barriers between suppliers and customers. It has chosen the North West to pilot its service, with plans to roll it out nationally early next year.

It provides an online portal for affordable food and drink, with an impressive portfolio of suppliers offering meat, fruit, fish, vegetables, and alcohol.

Among Bearfaced’s roster of suppliers is Preston-based grocers Sharrocks and Neve’s fish suppliers of Fleetwood.

Wilf Whittle, business development manager at Sharrocks, said: “Bearfaced Groceries is an innovative concept and the company is genuinely fair to suppliers and produce growers alike. It offers us the unique chance to focus on developing our product range further and offering something very special to Bearfaced customers.”

Also involved is family-run H Greaves & Son, a Skelmersdale-based butchers and regional meat distributor.

Robert Greaves, director at H Greaves hopes Bearfaced will give him a springboard to reach new customers.

Robert said: “The retail sector is changing and, as an industry, we need to be responsive to online distribution. Bearfaced’s belief in fresh produce at decent prices to both suppliers and consumers makes it a win-win distributor.”

Headquartered at Trafford Park, Bearfaced Groceries provides customers with fresh food straight to their doors using a ‘buy-to-order’ strategy, so that stock leaves for the customer on the same day it arrives from the producer – meaning that the public gets produce at its peak freshness.

Philip Edge, managing director of Bearfaced Groceries, said: “Many UK producers have been longing to give customers a compelling alternative to the ‘Big Six’ supermarkets for some time.

“We’re meeting the demand for healthy eating with an extensive range of super foods and free-from foods that make it easy for consumers to know exactly where their meals come from – while catering to a range of specific diet requirements, from paleo to vegan.

“Most importantly, we’re tackling the horrendous food waste issues that have been hitting the headlines for far too long.”