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WE PREFER LOCAL

We favour working with local suppliers to help reduce waste, reduce our ecological footprint, ensure maximum freshness, and encourage job creation in the region.
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Local suppliers and innovation

We opt, wherever possible, to buy from local suppliers, remaining true to our strategy of shortening the distance to our stores and distribution centres, thereby reducing transportation costs and carbon emissions. Partnerships with local suppliers also ensure that products reach fresher to the stores, help reduce waste, and encourage economic development. We also foster long-lasting and close relationships with suppliers to develop new products and more sustainable production.

We are committed to guaranteeing that 80% of food product purchases are sourced from local suppliers.

Products sourced from local suppliers

Portugal
82%
Poland
92%

As at 31/12/2021

Colombia
Over 95%

We only import products when:

  • products are scarce due to production seasonality (a common occurrence in the fruit and vegetable categories);
  • there is no domestic production, or the quantity produced in the country is insufficient to guarantee a sustained supply to our stores;
  • the price-quality ratio of national products prevents us from respecting our commitment to delivering quality at the best price to our customers.

How we promote local production

We use visual elements to identify the local origin of some products. It is the case of stickers with national flag colours on perishables (such as fruit and vegetables) and additional information on Private Brand products. We also strive to highlight the local origin of products in the communication that the Companies promote in stores, leaflets, digital channels, payment receipts and advertising campaigns.

Example are the labels “100% Nacional” (100% Portuguese) in Portugal, “Polski Produkt” (Polish Product) in Poland, and “Hecho en Colombia” (Made in Colombia) in Colombia. We also strive to highlight these products in the communication that the Companies promote in stores, leaflets, payment receipts, television campaigns and on their websites.

Support to Suppliers

The responsible way we strive to manage our business also ensures lasting and trusting relationships with suppliers, who can benefit from various measures to stimulate their development and enable them to grow with us.

Since 2012, the Group has promoted a measure – unique in retail in Portugal – to support the members of the Confederation of Portuguese Farmers, bringing forward payment to ten days (on average) – the law provides for 30 days. Over 370 suppliers benefited from this initiative.

In Poland, and since 2020, Biedronka has reduced payment terms to a maximum of 21 days for farmers with a turnover of less than 100 million złoty. This initiative benefited 60 suppliers in 2021, 40 more than in 2020.

In Colombia, Ara has maintained its partnership with BBVA since 2020, enabling more than 350 fruit and vegetable suppliers to receive early payment on their invoices at more favourable rates and without affecting their debt rating.

Partnerships and innovation in the offer of local products

We seek to introduce innovative local products in our offer constantly. It gives consumers access to a more diverse assortment while stimulating partnerships with our suppliers and developing their skills.

 

POLAND

In May 2021, Biedronka challenged local producers to deliver their products to Companie’s stores or distribution centres close to the production area, and more than 10 tonnes of fruit and vegetables were delivered.

This initiative follows another similar action, in practice since 2014, where strawberry suppliers reduced the time between harvesting and marketing by directly delivering the strawberries (which have a short life cycle) to stores and distribution centres.

To replace imports, Biedronka continued to support fruit production by Polish farmers, particularly apricots and watermelons.

PORTUGAL

Pingo Doce and Recheio use in-store communication, social media posts and leaflets to raise awareness among consumers of the importance of consuming seasonal, locally grown produce. Pingo Doce has also been investing in the marketing of “Protected Geographical Indication” and “Protected Designation of Origin” products such as the Rocha pear and several apple varieties, such as golden, starking, royal gala and bravo de-esmolfe apples, and apples from Alcobaça and the Beira Alta regions.

Recheio has been working with national producers to launch exclusive olive oil and wine references for several years. In 2020, it launched the “World-Class Wine Cellar”, a project to represent and distribute exclusive wine brands produced by small and medium-sized Portuguese producers. The goal is to combine quality wine projects with Recheio’s knowledge and scale, giving them visibility in the HoReCa channel and traditional retail.

COLOMBIA

Ara works with over 180 local suppliers, who account for over 90% of its Private Brand sales and supply about 870 products.

For example, 100% Colombian produced milk, with over 90 million litres sold in 2021 (20% more than in 2020). The Company also increased the number of local fruit and vegetable suppliers to 81.

Independent Verification

Information on the proportion of costs with local suppliers was confirmed by an external and independent entity for the Group’s 2021 Annual Report.