The provenance and traceability of the food we sell is vitally important. Our buyers are experts in their own fields and spend much of their time with farmers, growers and suppliers, building relationships based on trust and respect with the people who produce the high quality food and unusual ingredients our customers eat.
At the Soil Association Organic Food Awards, held in September 2013, Waitrose was named Best Supermarket. Judges praised Waitrose's 'holistic approach to providing a wide range of organic choices for their customers while fully supporting British and organic farming'.
At the 2014 Marine Stewardship Council's Seafood Sustainability Awards, Waitrose was named Best MSC Certified Fish Counter, for offering the broadest range of MSC-certified options of any UK supermarket. Leading animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming presented Waitrose with the Good Pig Award in September 2012 for the use of high welfare pork.
Waitrose's 'Price Commitment' is our promise to give customers quality food that is honestly priced and represents excellent value.
Waitrose's pioneering approach to sourcing fresh fruit and vegetables from the regions it trades in and clearly labelling them as such has won a Gold Award from The Grocer magazine.
At Waitrose, we have more Masters of Wine than any other supermarket, and all our wines go through a rigorous quality control and tasting process. We also have wine specialists in our branches offering expert advice and have an illustrious track record for achievements in wine retailing. In 2014 Waitrose won three accolades at the Drinks Retailing Awards, which recognises innovation and best practice in the drinks market. Waitrose was awarded Spirits Retailer of the Year, Wine Retailer of the Year and Supermarket of the Year. In May 2014 a new website called Waitrose Cellar (www.waitrosecellar.com) was launched.
Waitrose has opened a cookery school above the Finchley Road (John Barnes) branch in north London. The 4,600 ft² cookery school comprises a theatre, teaching area, dining area, bar and kitchen. The school's varied timetable will offer consumers a choice of cookery classes, including sessions focusing on particular cuisine styles such as Indian or Italian, to more skills-based sessions such as butchery, baking and knife-skills. Courses will cover how to get the best out of cheese, meat and fish as well as all that is in season. Waitrose will also use the school to train its branch Specialists.
To find your nearest branch go to the Waitrose website (www.waitrose.com).
As the result of a franchise partnership food shops have been opened at 29 Welcome Break motorway service areas.
Waitrose was the first company to sign up to the Scottish Retailers' Charter, launched in June 2009, which aims to create a 'responsible approach' between retailers and suppliers.
In March 2010, Heston Blumenthal joined forces with Waitrose as a food ambassador for the brand. He appears in TV, press and online ads, sharing his expertise and showcasing recipes while championing individual ingredients from Waitrose. The advertisements are available to view along with video recipes and other video content at the Waitrose YouTube channel Waitrose YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/waitrose). A Heston from Waitrose range launched in 2010 and has been expanded further. It features a wide range of products including pies, stocks, dressings, burgers, sausages, soups, ice cream, and the Heston from Waitrose Hidden Orange Christmas pudding which was a sell-out success for Christmas 2010 and 2011.
Waitrose is also working with Delia Smith with the launch of The Delia Online Cookery School on Waitrose TV, offering an encyclopaedia of video clips showing how to perfect different techniques and recipes.
In February 2014, Waitrose announced plans to work with the great British talkshow host, Sir Michael Parkinson. 'Parky', as he is known more famously to viewers, will host a series of shows in which he will interview high profile celebrities and chefs. The talkshows will be exclusively broadcast on Waitrose TV. Sir Michael Parkinson will also contribute to Waitrose Weekend - a free weekly newspaper covering all aspects of food, drink, entertainment, news and sport. Waitrose Weekend is available in all Waitrose branches every Thursday.
Waitrose online shopping service continues to grow and operates from 168 branches across the country. The service is designed to have all the benefits of your local Waitrose delivered to your door - free of charge. Waitrose was the first UK supermarket to abolish all delivery charges for online orders. For more details visit the Waitrose website (www.waitrose.com) to see if we deliver in your area.
Waitrose is also a long-term supplier to online retailer Ocado, which has sold our groceries to customers across the country since 2002. In 2010 we extended this successful partnership with a 10-year sourcing agreement, which will run until September 2020.
John Lewis's free Click & collect service is now available in over 217 Waitrose branches as well as all John Lewis stores. Once the latest roll-out is complete it will be available in 310 branches nationwide. The service allows customers to buy online at johnlewis.com and pick up their purchases after 2pm the next day in their nominated branch.