Russian retailer Lenta has announced the opening of its first dedicated vegetable storage facility in the Ryazan Region, southeast of Moscow.
The new facilities will have a total area of 6,786 square metres, divided into 16 chambers with separate staff and administrative premises, according to Lenta.
The facility has the capacity to store up to 8,000 tonnes of potatoes and 7,500 tonnes of other root vegetables.
It will be primarily be used for winter storage and processing of potatoes, carrots, cabbages and onions. Of the area in use, 12 chambers are currently taken up by cooled storage and four by processing, according to the retailer.
Lenta said that a fully owned vegetable warehouse will optimise its supply chain of fresh root vegetables, improve quality control for the benefit of customers, and improve the efficiency of its cooperation with farmers by noticeably reducing purchasing costs outside the season.
“With the opening of our own vegetable winter storage facilities, we have taken full control over an important link in the root vegetable supply chain for our stores,” said Jan Dunning, Lenta’s CEO.
“We will be able to ensure the best quality products both on the shelves and in the culinary section all year round, as well as expand our cooperation with farms lacking their own storage infrastructure.”
The retailer added that it intends to supply both processed (washed and vacuum packed) and unprocessed vegetables to its hypermarkets and supermarkets, as well as further expand its existing range of private label vegetable preserves.
“Through the purchase of seasonal root vegetables and their sale outside the season, we will reduce our dependence on spot prices in the market,” Dunning said. “The storehouse’s convenient location in our strategic region and close proximity to a distribution centre increases the overall logistics efficiency for this product category.”
The storage infrastructure was built in 2011 and bought by Lenta last year. The warehouse is on a 10-hectare land plot, which enables a six-fold expansion if necessary, according to Lenta.
The warehouse's building and cooling technologies are virtually brand new, their renovation requiring only a minor capital investment from the company, according to the retailer.
The retailer, which is known for its hypermarkets, recently reported a sales growth of 19.2% for 2017, up to RUB 265.2 billion, driven by the group's ongoing expansion plans.
© 2018 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.