The Shoprite Group recently celebrated its most innovative and reliable suppliers at its 2017 Supplier of the Year Awards. 

Africa’s largest food retailer works with 16 211 suppliers in South Africa, 7 202 in other African countries and more than 1 000 growers as far afield as Turkey and New Zealand. It spent R1.4bn in the last financial year on supply chain infrastructure. 

The Group values it supplier partnerships to continue to grow business. It believes in sourcing locally wherever possible in every country where it operates. It also believes in sourcing as much as possible from smaller suppliers and local farmers and works with them to help them build their businesses. 

At the 2017 Supplier of the Year Awards, the Group awarded the following 11 suppliers who stood out amongst it’s more than 23 000 suppliers:

Groceries – Stewart Rew, Jacobs Douwe Egberts

When Shoprite embarked on the journey to own the premium coffee segment, Jacobs Douwe Egberts partnered with it and and a result, has become the leader in innovation and sales in the premium coffee category. 

“We are very dedicated to our future with Shoprite – we have a lot of innovation, not just in product but in our way of working, and the alignment of our two businesses is really going from strength to strength,” said Rew. 

Toiletries – Calvin McGregor, Beiersdorf Consumer Products

By bringing new products to the market and increasing basket spend in the toiletries section, this partnership has resulted in a drastic increase in sales.

“With Beiershof and Shoprite, innovation is really customer focused,” explained McGregor. 

Perishables – Mlu Dlamini, Earlybird Farm

“The chicken business keeps us on our toes all the time and avian flu has caused a major crisis with regards to food supply,”comments Dlamini. “People count on us being on Shoprite shelves at all times.”

Earlybird is always available to assist Shoprite and in the process, both businesses benefit. “This year alone we grew by more than 100% with Shoprite in the KwaZulu-Natal division.”

Convenience Foods – Karel la Cock, Millenium Foods

Millenium always goes the extra mile when it comes to convenience. When Shoprite launched the Oh My Goodness range and asked them to supply the whole country, they stepped up overnight.

“Partnering with Shoprite has enabled Millenium to thrive in the convenience space,” says La Cock. The company provides employment to over 100 staff and its volumes have increased 100% year-on-year for the last three years.

Liquor – Conrad Stickling, Warshay Investments t/a KWV

Shoprite’s partnership with smaller suppliers in the liquor industry enables it to provide customers with a wider range of products.

“For the last two years we have managed to grow our business with Shoprite by more than 50%, and that enabled us to increase our sales force,” explains Stickling. 

“We are committed to the future of Shoprite and to grow our business even further.”

Upcoming Suppliers – Mike & Thina Maziya, Verigreen

Shoprite believed in Verigreen’s plan to empower black South African women through its Supa Mama programme. 

“Shoprite believed in our goal of creating employment for South Africans,” says Thina Maziya. “We want to empower others to achieve their goals too. Through projects like Supa Mama, we are empowering the community in an environmentally-friendly way,” she says. 

“Shoprite has empowered us to empower black South Africans.”

Private Label – Jacques Hill, Lancewood Holdings 

Lancewood’s hunger for business along with its willingness to innovate and collaborate with Shoprite is what sets this business apart. 

“In the space of eight years we have increased revenue fivefold,” comments Hill. “If you align yourself with Shoprite’s priorities, you will grow as a business. So we decided to join forces with Shoprite to conquer South Africa and Africa in the cheese category.”

Medirite Pharmacy – Jacques van Staden, Cipla South Africa

Cipla supplies Medirite (the in-house pharmacy in Shoprite & Checkers stores) with consumer goods products and scheduled medicines. It never fails to go out of its way for the retail group, for example by investing in the training of Medirite pharmacists and staff. 

“Like any relationship, business partnerships are built on trust and loyalty and we definitely got that right with Shoprite,”says van Staden. Cipla’s growth in Medirite stores has been over 30% in the last three years.

“Together with Shoprite we anticipate that we will continue to grow due to our shared vision of innovation,” says van Staden. 

Fruit and Vegetables – Johan Greyling, Aqua Farming

“Aqua Farming has improved dramatically as a business since partnering with Shoprite,” says Greyling. 

It has become a big employer in its region and set up a trust for workers who have been empowered to start their own farming venture.

Shoprite started buying Aqua’s potatoes, and then other products such as onions and nuts, which is, in turn, providing skills development to its people and creating jobs. 

Non-Foods – Niell Grobler, Weber Stephen Products

Weber Stephen sells quality products, has an excellent service level and is always willing to go the extra mile. Shoprite has been sourcing products from the company for 30 years. 

“It takes courage to bring something new to the market, but it makes it easier if you have a distributor like Shoprite. They sell more Webers than any other supermarket,” says Grobler. 

“Our partnership has been based on shared values and at the heart of it all is the love for our customers.” 

Contractors – Walter Anderson at KK Shelving 

KK shelving has always innovated, but since working with Shoprite, it is producing more products than ever before. 

“When we started working with Shoprite we were forced to up our game,” says Anderson. “We have built our business around this relationship and over the last 20 years our turnover has grown five or sixfold,” he says.

“Thanks to Shoprite, we are the leaders in the market and in innovation.”

Source: Fastmoving