French retailer Système U has reaffirmed its commitment to support French farmers at a meeting on food sovereignty organised by the Conseil de l'Agriculture Française and the Centre National des Expositions et Concours Agricoles (CENECA).
French agriculture has demonstrated its strengths amid the pandemic and climate hazards and can rely on its network of 1,600 shops, the retailer added.
The retailer functions on a cooperative model based on proximity and adaptability, and it allows Système U stores to constantly strengthen the approaches taken by its suppliers, farmers and breeders.
With independent entrepreneurs heading each outlet, the company facilitates local exchanges and supplies. Stores can act locally to develop their initiatives in line with the brand's historic values.
Short Supply Chains
Système U supports the local economic fabric by promoting short supply chains and offering sales outlets to SMEs.
In 2020, SMEs comprised 77% of Système U's French suppliers, the company added.
The chain is also committed to ensuring that 80% of the agricultural raw materials used in its food products will be of French origin by 2025.
The retailer ensures that its products meet the taste and quality requirements and works with producers through bipartite and tripartite partnerships to ensure a sustainable supply chain.
The company has introduced cash payment for VSEs and SMEs, commitment to purchase volumes and promotion of French and seasonal products on store shelves.
Système U is now planning to feed animals in its supply chain with 100% French raw materials to meet consumer expectations and contribute to the sustainable transformation of agricultural practices, particularly by reducing the protein dependency of livestock farming.
The company has collaborated with Terrena to ensure that its U Charolais beef is sourced from cows fed without soya or corn silage.
It also plans to remove imported soy from chicken feed by 2024 and introduce 100% French proteins for the chicken supply chain by 2026.