Waitrose has detailed a number of initiatives it has launched to support what it terms its ‘most vulnerable suppliers’ during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As well as supporting British producers and farmers, the supermarket says it is helping the most vulnerable communities in developing countries that supply food and other products through the Waitrose Foundation.
The initiatives include: Up to £200,000 of financial aid to its most vulnerable overseas farming communities from the Waitrose Foundation Global Fund; Quicker payments to most vulnerable suppliers; and specific support for small British producers .
The retailer said it was continuing its commitment to British farmers, and continuing to pay fair prices, work hand in hand with its farmers and support sales of UK produce including promotions across key categories. As well as regular contact with family-run businesses, Waitrose is taking more stock of horticulture products than ever before to provide a much-needed lifeline to British nurseries that supply it. By standing by its commitments and taking more volume of stock across certain categories, Waitrose is helping to support businesses that may otherwise not have had a path to market during the Government mandated lockdown.
Other measures include funding webinars for global food producers and continued support to farming bodies and charities in the UK. Rupert Thomas, Director of Food & Grocery at Waitrose, commented: “The John Lewis Partnership was founded on the principle that we have a responsibility to others and that we must treat people fairly, which extends to our Partners, customers, suppliers and the communities that we trade with, including those outside of the UK.”
Photo source: John Lewis & Partners