Waitrose is to move its payment terms for all UK small food producers to a maximum of seven days.
The supermarket chain said the step, which will be phased in over the next two months, follows an internal review of payment terms for smaller suppliers and will mean that it now offers industry leading terms.
The grocery multiple has pledged to pay all its small scale suppliers, whose business with the retailer is worth less than £100,000 annually, within seven days of receipt of a valid electronic invoice. More than 600 UK food producers will benefit from the change.
Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson said: “The internal review of how we pay our smallest suppliers was initiated because we wanted to make our good relationships with small suppliers even better, by simplifying the payment process.
“We are passionate about supporting and nurturing British producers – and this step will help give smaller scale businesses, including new start-ups, more financial stability by helping with cash flow.”
Waitrose has a dedicated buying team for local and regional suppliers and sells more than 2,500 locally and regionally sourced products, from 600 suppliers.
The retailer operates 350 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 60 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations.