Annual Report 2023

Local supplier engagement

By giving preference to relationships with local suppliers, we are helping to develop the economy of the countries where we do business. At the same time, we strengthen our supply chains and ensure that products reach our stores faster, guarantee fresher food with a longer shelf life, and help prevent food waste. Shorter distances between suppliers and our operations also help reduce carbon emissions associated with transport, particularly by air and sea.

Worker harvesting berry fruites (photo)

Food products acquired from local suppliers


Food products acquired from local suppliers (2023) (bar chart)

That’s why we are committed to ensuring that at least 80% of the food we sell, in each of the countries where we have operations, is sourced from local suppliers. In 2023, we sourced 91% of food products from local suppliers, just as with our purchases of Private Brand products from local suppliers. More than 80% of specialised perishables were sourced from local suppliers1.

Private brand products sourced from local suppliers


Private brand products sourced from local suppliers (2023)  (bar chart)

Perishables sourced from local suppliers


Perishables sourced from local suppliers (2023) (bar chart)

Additional measures have also been implemented to strengthen our relationships with local suppliers, such as support for small and medium-sized producers of perishable produce that are members of Confederação dos Agricultores de Portugal (Confederation of Portuguese Farmers). This measure is unique in Portuguese retail and consists of bringing forward payment to an average of 10 days, instead of the 30 days established by law, without any financial costs to the producer. Since 2012, around 375 suppliers have benefited from this initiative. In Poland, and since 2020, we have reduced the payment period to a maximum of 21 days for producers with a turnover of less than 100 million złoty (22 million euros). Around 200 suppliers benefited from this initiative, about 30 more than in 2022.

We also bolstered arrangements to improve the liquidity of suppliers. In Colombia, we enable suppliers to receive the early payment of their invoices at more favourable rates and without affecting their debt rating. An additional 48 new suppliers benefited from this initiative in 2023, reaching over a total of 500 suppliers. This mechanism is also implemented in Portugal and Poland, covering more than 240 and 190 suppliers, respectively.

Sourcing from local farmers

Biedronka once again bolstered the programme for local fruit and vegetable producers so they could deliver their products to stores or distribution centres located close to the production area. In 2023, this initiative secured commercial relationships with around 200 suppliers, who delivered over 123,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables, 36,000 more than in 2022. As part of this programme, also of note is the purchase of these products from more than 60 family farms.

In Portugal, Pingo Doce acquired more than 14,000 tonnes of nationally grown cherries, apples and kiwis (-12% compared to the previous year, largely due to the reduction in the drop in cherry production – by around 50% – associated with adverse weather conditions) and also reinforced the range of specialised perishables with national products in the vegetable, meat and aquaculture fish category.

Ara also invested in relationships with local fruit and vegetable producers. In 2023, around 85% of its purchases in this category were from domestic production.

More information is available on the Group’s corporate website on the Local Suppliers and Innovation page.

Not fully ripe strawberries growing on a plant (photo)

We also stepped up consumer communication about the local and seasonal products sold by our Companies, using different formats, such as in-store communication, leaflets, television campaigns and digital channels.

Labels with the colours of the national flags are placed on perishables, such as fruit and vegetables, and we use stickers on Private Brand products to highlight:

  • the incorporation of 100% Portuguese raw materials and/or production at Recheio;
  • origin, with the “100% Nacional” (100% Portuguese) sticker at Pingo Doce, “Polski Produkt” (Polish Product) sticker at Biedronka, and “Hecho en Colombia” (Made in Colombia) sticker at Ara.

1 More information on purchases from local suppliers in the meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, bakery/pastry and flowers categories is available on the Group’s corporate website on the Local Suppliers and Innovation page.

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