To meet the needs of consumers more and more concerned by the origin of products, the Casino Group lends its support to local production chains by offering them the strength of the Group’s retail and promoting the upgrading of short circuits and regional products.

Promoting local producers and supporting agricultural sectors

Local producers are given help to make their production and supply chains, manufacturing standards and administrative management more professional, enabling them to expand their business beyond their commercial relationship with Casino.

The Group is close to farmers and works to develop sustainable partnerships. It has taken several steps to support producers, cooperatives and farmers.

In France, the Group has developed several partnerships with cooperatives and agricultural sectors. With the Altitude cooperative, Casino has launched a dedicated chain, Altitude heifer, raised by 50 breeders in the Massif Central; a lamb chain with the UNICOR cooperative and Arcadie Sud-Ouest, a Label Rouge pork chain.

These partnerships lay the foundations for long-term tripartite contracts guaranteeing stable purchasing volumes and prices based on actual production costs, offering quality products with full traceability.

Since 2013, the Group has supported the milk producers of Monts du Forez, who experienced difficulties following the closure of their processing company, marketing milk under the “Lait des éleveurs du Monts du Forez” label.

Franprix also sells Cant’Avey’Lot milk under the “Lait de la vallée du Lot” brand that meets the specifications of the “Bleu Blanc Coeur” Charter. The Casino Group also acquired a poultry packaging site in May 2015, thereby creating a wholly French-owned integrated poultry chain.

Outside France, Éxito in Colombia is committed to supporting local producers by creating partnerships with recognised NGOs and organisations such as the Clinton Foundation, Yunus Negocissociales, Salva Terra Foundation and the United Nations World Food Programme. Small producers benefit from a support programme – technical assistance, productivity improvements, delivery management – and a pledge to buy their products at an optimised price to contribute to local social and economic development.

In Brazil, GPA continues to develop the “Caras do Brasil” programme by giving craft cooperatives the opportunity to sell their products in Pão de Açúcar stores. Social and environmental criteria have been integrated into the producer selection process for this range, which is regularly promoted in stores. GPA also continues the rollout of its “Quality from the source” programme. The programme involves fruit, vegetable and egg suppliers in order to control pesticide use and product transport and storage conditions right across the supply chain.

Maintaining close relationships with SMEs

Since its inception, the Casino Group has maintained a close relationship with its suppliers (such as SMEs, farmers and cooperatives).

In France, Casino has developed several initiatives aimed at suppliers. Signatory of the differentiated platform established between the Fédération des entreprises et industriels de France (FEEF) and the Fédération du Commerce et de la Distribution (FCD), the Casino Group has appointed an SME officer to facilitate relations with the purchasing hub, and a mediator for business disputes. The Group also works with the FEEF and Association Nationale des Industries Alimentaires (ANIA) and with the Club d’Entreprise Agro-développement, and supports the “Open Agrifood” think tank, specialising in innovations in the food chain. Open Agrifood organised a forum on the theme of responsible eating in November 2016. Quarterly meetings are subsequently organised within the SME forum to take into account the expectations and challenges of SMEs in their respective markets. One of the forums held in 2016 focused on the challenges of responsible consumption.

Recognising that SMEs entrench its presence in its host regions and promote local employment, while strengthening store differentiation (product ranges, image), the Casino Group and the FEEF signed a charter to create a framework for close business relations in 2016. Its aims are to secure the business relationship between partners, notably through multi-year agreements, to facilitate the administrative and financial relationship and to support economic development. Lastly, the Group supports the “committed entrepreneurs” label developed by the FEEF to promote SMEs among consumers by providing them with reassurance on product origin and manufacturing, and helping to make sense of their purchasing initiatives.