THROUGHOUT the Save Our Scotland Brand campaign one supermarket chain has been given high marks by our readers for their promotion of properly-branded Scottish produce, particularly food and drink.

Step forward Aldi, the German-headquartered chain often dismissed as a mere discounter but whose competitively-priced products regularly win awards across the spectrum of produce.

They certainly show an example which other supermarkets and retailers might care to follow in Scotland where Aldi has regularly expanded in recent years and which has an increasing market share with 75 stores across the country.

That success may be something to do with what reader John Munro told us we should highlight – Aldi’s use of the Saltire across the range of Scottish produce. Yes, they do have some British-branded items, but almost every Scottish product The National’s inspector could see was labelled as such.

Another reader wrote to tell us that on his till receipt, each items sourced from Scotland had “SCO” beside it, showing that the company has been supporting Scottish suppliers.

They are doing so again with a new scheme called the Scottish Small Supplier Development Programme which aims to give developing food and drink businesses the opportunity to have their produce on its shelves.

Other supermarkets have similar scheme but Aldi’s is markedly different as it will showcase items as Scottish and ensure they are emblazoned with the Saltire.

As part of the programme, Aldi will offer companies that meet the qualifying criteria subsidised costs and support from a dedicated member of the Quality Assurance team who will offer advice, insight and coaching from day one until the product reaches Aldi shelves.

Graham Nicolson, group buying director at Aldi in Scotland, said: “We have always led the way with Scottish sourcing and in May this year we announced plans to boost our investment in Scotland by increasing our range of Scottish products from 350 to 400 in the next two years. Our Scottish Small Supplier Development Programme is part of that commitment, and will help more small Scottish food and drink businesses secure a retail listing.

“For a lot of small food and drink businesses, trying to secure a listing with a major retailer puts huge pressure on their team. We’ve launched this development programme to make it easier for companies to get their products on our shelves and to give our customers access to the most exciting and best quality new products from Scotland.”

Food and drink companies in Scotland with ambitions to take their product from concept to shelf and see it stocked in Aldi can apply for the Scottish Small Supplier Development programme by contacting

Scotland Food and Drink chief executive James Withers, who recently told The National of the importance of proper branding for Scottish produce, commented: “We are delighted to be supporting Aldi’s exciting new Scottish Small Supplier Development Programme.

It is a fantastic opportunity which will enable more Scottish producers to secure their first retail listing and provide them with insight into the way Aldi works.

“We know from extensive research that 70 per cent of Scots believe the availability of locally sourced products is important. This initiative will help to meet consumers’ appetite for Scottish products and I encourage our smaller Scottish producers to get involved.”

Spotted any Saltires or Union Jackery? Let us know by emailing