At Roche, we ensure responsible supply practices. We are committed to sustainability across all of our business practices and this includes working with suppliers to create sustainable value and to continually improve the standard of care for our patients. We devote significant resources to innovation and suppliers are a vital component of delivering innovative solutions whilst operating in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

Our procurement teams strive to cultivate as diverse a supplier pool as possible in order to maximise the quality of solutions that deliver sustainable value. We also proactively ensure that relevant potential suppliers (existing and new) have an equal and fair opportunity to compete for our business – this includes small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-up companies.1

Of the £760 million we spend annually with UK-based suppliers, 45 per cent of this spend goes to organisations based local to our operations in the UK and 28 per cent is spent with SME suppliers. A substantial share of our supply chain spend went to support organisations in the biotechnology value chain including clinical research organisations, specialist research outfits and professional services companies. 

Our activities support UK businesses: in 2017 we spent 760m on UK suppliers, of which we estimate 28% went to SME's, and of our spend 45% is in the local area.

Learn more about some of our partnerships

Skin and Blister – Healthcare Communication Agency

In April 2017 an industry event in London led to a meeting of minds – where one of our procurement teams met the founders of a women-owned Healthcare Communication Agency called Skin and Blister. Katie Langdon and Fiona Edwards, joint co-founders of Skin and Blister discussed their mission “to put the care back into healthcare communications”, their business model and showed a resolve to provide a diverse business. They were seeking a client prepared to take a risk in a risk-averse industry.

Skin and Blister’s working model is centred equally around client and employees. The team work remotely from home, from each other’s homes or in the office, as and when they need to. They use all the technologies available to ensure they remain connected, even though they’re often miles apart. The model was designed to offer opportunities for flexible working, often to women trying to dovetail career and other commitments. At Skin and Blister, the team is encouraged to fit work around their personal lives and is trusted to meet deadlines, allowing them to decide when, where and how they best work.

In July 2017, the UK procurement team needed to find a creative partner to lead the launch of a new product. Skin and Blister pitched against much larger, more established “corporate” agencies and won the account on the basis of the selection criteria and their inclusive, entrepreneurial approach. The contract was set up with some amended commercial terms, in order not to put undue pressure on this new and growing business.


Katie Langdon and Fiona Edwards

What has been the impact for Roche?

Having a smaller, more agile agency has really benefited Roche. The flexible working policy that Skin and Blister adopts meant we were able to have access to the agency over a longer period of the working day. We also benefit from having a highly engaged, supremely talented team at Skin and Blister – many of the employees are parents who have had to leave previous roles due to a lack of flexibility in working practices. Using an empowered, agile agency meant the team at Skin and Blister achieved delivery of the brief in five months (a month ahead of schedule). And the success of this launch has created an exciting partnership that both parties trust.

“The opportunity to work with Roche has changed our business dramatically. Getting a foot in the door of a large, well-respected corporation, and a chance to compete with other agencies, despite being a start-up, gave us a massive confidence boost. Roche allowed us to prove ourselves, and the positive ripple effect is that we have grown our Skin and Blister team. Roche has given us fantastic support and we are looking forward to continuing to work together in the future.”

Fiona Edwards and Katie Langdon, founders of Skin and Blister


BaxterStorey and Artizian – Roche on-site Catering

Our focus everyday is helping people live longer and better lives. Which is why when seeking a catering service provider, an important part of the criteria for selection was healthy fresh food that would be made on site each day. In addition, any catering partner needs to fit in with Roche’s own values and be able to enhance its environmental principles.

At both of our sites in the UK, Burgess Hill and Welwyn Garden City, we have two catering partners who share the same values and principles we do about living well and eating well.

At Burgess Hill, BaxterStorey provides healthy eating options to all colleagues on site, from fresh and innovative food to partnering with us on Live Well days. And following a partnership with Diabetes Care, BaxterStorey has started to include recipes from the digital lifestyle management programme: OurPath, which is designed to help people lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle by building better habits around food, exercise and wellbeing. They also ensure as much produce as possible is locally sourced and in season, playing an important role in reducing our carbon footprint.

“We've been partnering with Roche for a while now and the fact that we share similar values has meant that we've been able to work on a number of initiatives together revolving around the themes of healthy-eating and reducing our impact on the environment.”

Malcolm Luxton, Catering Manager, BaxterStorey


BaxterStorey catering in Roche, Burgess Hill
BaxterStorey catering in Roche, Burgess Hill


Artizian, a medium sized business with a nutritionally led, chef inspired approach, aligned with Roche’s values of looking after the wellbeing of employees and so were selected to deliver a step change to the services provided at Hexagon Place, Welwyn Garden City.

Their tailored menus, provenance and continually evolving services, alongside their award winning nutritionists supporting Roche with Live Well activities, has successfully been achieved through collaborating with the Site Services Department to deliver a One Team approach.

“We so enjoy working with Roche. They are completely aligned with our core beliefs about food. It is extremely motivating to work with a company that is as passionate and focused as we are on ensuring their people have access to nutritious and delicious food, and not just recognising but understanding how food can enhance physical and mental well-being.”

Alison Frith, Managing Director, Artizian



  1. The usual definition of SMEs is any business with fewer than 250 employees
  2. The SME analysis was carried out by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). SMEs are defined as businesses that have fewer than 250 employees; and has either (a) annual turnover not exceeding £40 million or (b) an annual balance-sheet total not exceeding £34 million.