UK retailer Sainsbury’s has announced a scheme designed to give smaller regional suppliers the opportunity to bid for shelf space.

The ‘supply something new’ initiative will provide suppliers with the chance to present their products, plans and aspirations to top Sainsbury’s executives who will give a decision as to whether the supermarket operator will stock their products the very same day.

“We’ve got our team of executives going out on the road,” Sainsbury’s spokesperson Laura Jones told just-food. “The pilot event will take place just outside Brighton on 26 May and then similar events will be held around the country every two months.”

The pilot has been organised in conjunction with Food From Britain and suppliers already registered with the organisation have been invited to attend. However, after that the two-monthly events will be open to all suppliers, Jones said.

The scheme was announced shortly after the UK’s Office of Fair Trading said it would investigate the large retailers dominance of the grocery sector. Nonetheless, Jones denied a link between the project and the Competition Commission investigation.

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“It is something we’ve had bubbling in the pipeline for quite some time,” Jones suggested. “We have always prioritised getting high-quality products onto our shelves highly, and supply something new is a reaction to this.”