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How are we improving the way we work with suppliers?

Jason Tarry

Chief Product Officer
Welwyn Garden City, UK

5 Jul 2016

Today I spoke at the Food and Drink Federation Convention about the importance of rebuilding trust and transparency with suppliers, and how innovation by Tesco and our partners can help provide a compelling shopping experience for our customers.

We know customers lead increasingly busy lives and as a result of this are looking for simple straightforward value when they shop. So the question for me is: how can we work together with our suppliers to deliver this?

We’re already focusing on offering a one stop shop for customers – offering the best choice of brands and own label products, as well as unbeatable quality, especially when it comes to our fresh produce.

And crucially we want to do this by working with our partners in a simple and straightforward way which is good for our customers, good for our suppliers, and good for Tesco.

So over the last year we’ve put in a place a number of measures to help improve the way we work with our suppliers:

· Our Supplier network now has over 5,000 members, who can share knowledge and best practice across a huge range of issues.

· More than 1,000 suppliers have received training to help them grow their business, while Tesco buyers have completed almost 9,000 training courses in total; and

·  We’ve standardised our payment terms so that small and medium-sized businesses are paid within 14 days.

We’ve done a lot in a short space of time, but we are not going to stop there.

Last week we introduced our Fair For Farmers Guarantee, which highlights how every pint of Tesco milk that customers buy helps to support British dairy farmers. We’ll be announcing more details of how we’re partnering with suppliers and producers over the next few weeks.

And today we've announced contracts worth £12 million over three years to become the first UK retailer to introduce new long term contracts for potato growers and packers – helping to safeguard the future of UK farmers who supply Tesco.

It’s really encouraging to hear that our move towards long-term transparent relationships with our suppliers is being recognised.

As you may have seen, the latest GCA supplier survey included feedback from nearly 500 Tesco suppliers. 65% of those suppliers reported seeing an improvement in how we operate, resulting in Tesco being recognised as the most improved retailer in the survey.

So what’s next?

I’d like to give an invitation to our suppliers to innovate and help us develop and deliver unique products and offers which are genuinely helpful and which set Tesco apart.

By working more closely together with our suppliers, we can continue to focus on the things that matter most to our customers.

 

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