European retailers building sustainable supply chains

Date : 05 December 2018

We look at how Ahold Delhaize-owned Albert Heijn is making its private label chocolate traceable, while Carrefour Poland forms a coalition to promote organic farming.

Albert Heijn invests in traceability

Albert Heijn has partnered with Switzerland-based chocolate maker Barry Callebaut to make its private label chocolate traceable. The partnership reflects the growing interest in ethical sourcing, with both companies suggesting the buying raising industry standards. The companies have said the sourcing will provide a living income for farmers.

From March 2019, Albert Heijn will source cocoa for its private label ‘Delicata’ from Tony's Chocolonely's partner cooperatives in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The cocoa will be based on the five sourcing principles of Tony’s ‘open chain’, which helps to achieve a transparent supply chain. Jeroen Hirdes, who is responsible for chocolate sourcing at Albert Heijn, explained, “The new Delicata chocolate will have the yellow-orange label with the open chain Tony's uses to indicate to consumers it was sourced sustainably”.

Carrefour Poland forms coalition

Carrefour Poland has formed a coalition with the EKOLAN association, the Polish Chamber of Organic Food and Warsaw University of Life Sciences. It has been named ‘the coalition for the development of the bio-food market’ and will promote organic farming across Poland.

Christophe Rabatel, president of Carrefour Poland, commented, “As a member of the coalition, Carrefour wants to support farmers through direct cooperation, our know-how, logistics and extensive infrastructure of almost 900 stores. We will also continue to educate Polish clients in the field of healthy nutrition”.

Research has shown organic farming in Poland is declining, with only 500,000 hectares of land being used. However, the demand for organic food is high and largely met through imports. Rabatel added, “Today's consumer is more and more aware of the impact of nutrition on health, and our mission is to offer him the products he or she is looking for and needs”.

Subscribers can read our global trends for 2019 where we highlighted how doing good is good business and how we believe retailers and brands will look to differentiate through initiatives like these.