Waitrose increases support for vulnerable suppliers
Waitrose has launched a range of initiatives to support its most vulnerable suppliers during the covid-19 pandemic.
Measures have included unlocking £200,000 from the Waitrose Foundation Global Fund to support the supermarket’s overseas farming communities. The funds will be used to communicate advice on social distancing and to supply sanitation kits and food parcels to communities that grow, pick and pack produce sold in Waitrose stores.
In addition, Waitrose will speed up payments to its most vulnerable suppliers.
Looking specifically at British companies, Waitrose said it is helping UK farmers by supporting sales of their produce through promotions across key categories. It is also working with local family-run businesses to ensure that the most vulnerable suppliers are included in key decision making processes.
In a further move, the supermarket has increased stocks of horticulture items from British nurseries to enable them to sell their products during the government enforced lockdown.
Rupert Thomas, director of food and grocery at Waitrose, said: “This pandemic poses the greatest humanitarian and economic threat of our generation and, whilst we face many difficult decisions, as a collective industry we must continue to look at ways we can help to protect people and their livelihoods during this unprecedented time. The measures we have put in place are just the start and we will continue to do everything we can to provide support to our suppliers and the people who form part of them, particularly those that are most vulnerable.”
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