Sodexo takes BITC Access Pledge

February 10, 2014

Sodexo has made a public commitment to level the playing field for SMEs to access its supply chain through a Business in the Community initiative.

Sodexo takes BITC Access Pledge

Sodexo is joining a pioneering group of large organisations such as Wates Group, Network Rail, Santander and IBM, all who have taken the Business in the Community Access Pledge which aims to tackle some of the barriers facing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) when they try and do business with large companies.

Taking this pledge demonstrates Sodexo’s commitment to making its business fair, transparent and open to SMEs.

It is the private sector that is expected to drive the economic and employment recovery and SMEs have a critical role to play. SMEs account for 99 per cent of businesses in the UK, and are the backbone of the UK economy. Since the economic downturn almost nine out of ten unemployed people who found work in the private sector either started up or worked for an SME.

All of this makes the success of SMEs critical to building sustainable, resilient communities across the UK. However, many SMEs struggle to supply their products and services to large businesses, impacting their ability to grow and create jobs.

Steve Jobson, buying director for Sodexo UK & Ireland says, “At Sodexo we recognise and value the importance of supplier diversity. Through having an inclusive procurement process that values equal opportunities we have a better understanding of the role and impact our business has on the communities in which we operate. Our approach to supplier diversity not only brings new ideas, flexibility and creativity into our supply chain but encourages SMEs to engage with us to help them understand our selection criteria and the opportunities within our supply chain for them. ”

Sodexo is already taking steps to make its procurement more open, fair and transparent, levelling the playing field for SMEs, at the end of 2013 the company became a channel partner for Access 6, an innovative EU-funded export programme which will help SMEs break into the foodservice market and supply chains. Sodexo also supports the Safe and Local Supplier Approval (SALSA) which is a robust food safety certification scheme that certifies local and regional food and drink producers.

Jane Pritchard, enterprise director at Business in the Community said; “SMEs are critical to creating sustainable communities, as they create local employment across the UK; since the beginning of the recession, nine out of ten unemployed people who found work in the private sector found it in an SME. We are delighted that Sodexo has taken The Access Pledge, joining a growing group of large businesses that recognise the benefits to their business and society of supporting SMEs to flourish and create employment.”

The Access Pledge has been developed by Business in the Community, working together with procurement professionals from leading large businesses. It forms part of Business in the Community’s wider work on Enterprise, which looks to build sustainable communities by supporting SMEs to grow and create jobs across the UK.

For further information visit: www.bitc.org.uk/accesspledge.

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