Waitrose has unveiled a range of measures to help it support its most vulnerable suppliers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
£200,000 from the Waitrose Foundation Global Fund
Some of the measures put in place include a £200,000 purse from the Waitrose Foundation Global fund, which will support its overseas farming communities. The purse is due to be used to convey advice on social distancing and to provide food parcels and sanitation kits to the communities that supply produce to Waitrose’s supermarkets.
Moreover, the retailer has promised to speed up its payments to its most vulnerable suppliers.
Waitrose to work closely with UK farmers
Waitrose noted also it will carry on paying fair prices and working closely with its UK farmers by supporting the sale of their produce through promotions across key categories. The retailer has also confirmed its buying teams are working closely with many family-run businesses that supply local produce to its stores, to ensure that the most vulnerable suppliers are not only included in key decision making processes, but also they have a platform where they can sell their produce.
Rupert Thomas, director of food and grocery at Waitrose, commented: “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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