NorthLink boards mission to steer firms into buying local

The ferry firm which provides lifeline services between mainland Scotland and the northern isles has got aboard the campaign to encourage companies to choose local suppliers.

NorthLink has become the latest organisation to join the Buy North East Roll of Honour.

The award-winning business is among the 360 firms with operations in the region to have backed the Buy North East campaign, which aims to deliver a boost to the local economy in the wake of the oil industry downturn.

The company is poised to increase its £3.3million support for Scotland’s industries by continuing to expand its locally-based procurement.

NorthLink, which is operated by the FTSE-250 outsourcing giant Serco, already does business with a host of local firms including social enterprise Glencraft, Caber Coffee, Aberdeen Laundry Services and Contract Solutions Grampian.

Operating daily passenger and freight services, the organisation gets more than 80% of its food, drink and hospitality supplies from within a 50-mile radius of the ports NorthLink Ferries operates from.

Peter Hutchinson, customer service director at NorthLink, said: “Working with suppliers within the areas we operate is of great importance.

“Since Serco began operating the service in 2012, we have increased our local supplier network up to 82%, bringing more food, drink, craft and hospitality businesses and organisations on board than ever before.

“Not only does this help support Aberdeen’s economy but it also brings a wide range of local produce to our passengers, showcasing the very best of what the north-east of Scotland has to offer.”

A recent switch to fruit and vegetable supplier Community Food Initiatives North East is the first step in NorthLink’s support for the Buy North East campaign, with additional movements and partnerships set to be take place over coming months.

Mr Hutchinson added: “We are very proud to support the Buy North East campaign and believe that close collaboration with our partners will help encourage other companies and organisations to buy from local producers in the city and shire. I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with other supporters of the campaign, helping to boost the north-east economy and the great businesses that the area boasts.”