Russian retailer Lenta has been expanding its 'Growers Platform', which now includes over 100 agricultural suppliers across 20 product categories, two years after the initiative was launched.
The platform was set up in November 2015 to increase the retailer’s direct fruit and vegetable supply from producers, eliminating the need for intermediaries.
The retailer said that the project reduces delivery time and enables it to offer higher quality products at lower prices to its customers.
The platform started with seven partners offering a range of products such as potatoes, onions, apples, and fresh salads. Since then, Lenta has increased the number of suppliers by almost 15 times and the SKU offerings by 30 times.
The partners include large players such as AFG National, Step Agricultural Holding, and Sad Gigant Trading House, but also small farmers.
The retailer said that the Growers Platform ensures that a fresh supply of vegetables, root vegetables, mushrooms, salads, and seasonal fruit is available in Lenta hypermarkets and supermarkets.
In addition, several types of salad, cauliflower, broccoli, savoy cabbage, kohlrabi, and premium potatoes are grown exclusively for Lenta.
Crimean products are also supplied to Lenta, such as pink tomatoes, peaches, apricots, apples, Yalta onions, and sweet cherries.
Lenta said it is heavily focused on its selection of suppliers to guarantee the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables on its shelves. Its employees visit farms and agribusiness enterprises to assess the production facilities and infrastructures for processing and storage.
It also promotes cooperation between farmers and major seed producers, offering advice to partners on their product range and production expansion opportunities. Now the retailer has a well-established direct line of communication with producers who previously operated through distributors, it said.
“We are more than satisfied with the initial results of the project and its growth rate,” said Jan Dunning, CEO of Lenta. “I am confident that this is only the beginning – we are focused on maximising direct supplies to benefit our customers.
"Long-term contracts with agricultural producers within the Growers Platform are mutually beneficial - Lenta’s customers receive a guaranteed supply of consistently high-quality products at affordable prices, while suppliers have an opportunity to boost production and expand planning horizons.”
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.