Shoprite Ready to Aid Local Suppliers’ Growth

SHOPRITE Checkers Zambia says it is ready to support the growth of local suppliers in country. Company general manager Charles Bota said the chain store would give local suppliers first priority only if they meet the company’s needs.

Mr Bota said Shoprite was currently buying almost 100 per cent from local suppliers in terms of vegetable supplies. Speaking shortly after the launch of the Shoprite Community Network programme, Mr Bota said Shoprite was ready to give priority to local suppliers who were in a position to meet its needs in terms of vegetables and fruits.

“If they meet our needs 100 per cent, we will buy local.

If they do not meet our needs, only then can we import or unless they are out of season or we cannot get the contract that we need, then only can we import,” Mr Bota said.

He said Shoprite had supported a number of farmers and farmers’ programmes and that currently it had been meeting with a group from Mufulira in a bid to form cooperatives.

“We are trying to do all these programmes across the country, but we have grown our fruit and vegetables base. So what we do now, we import things that we cannot grow in Zambia or the ones that are out of season, or those that are in short supply,” he said.

He explained that Shoprite had stopped importing strawberries which they used to import because the chain store had two farmers that were growing the fruits in Lusaka and Kitwe.

Officiating at the launch, Community Development, Mother and Child Deputy Minister Dorothy Kazunga said Government wanted to ensure that everybody had a stake and role to play in the development of the country.

She said this would be achieved through the promotion of the public private partnerships aimed at incorporating the private sector in the governance and management of the country’s economy.

“My ministry has a mandate and vision to uplift communities and alleviate the sufferings of the vulnerable. Part of the vision is to work in partnership with the private sector and particularly large corporations such as Shoprite,” she said.

The deputy minister presented a K10, 000 cheque on behalf of Shoprite to a charity that would soon be opened in Lusaka.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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