Montreal, May 1st, 2013 - METRO INC. announced today the adoption of a local purchasing policy for its agrifood products. This new initiative is part of METRO’s overall process of corporate responsibility and takes effect immediately. The first phase of its implementation, planned until 2015, will get underway in METRO supermarkets in Quebec and will then be adapted for the Ontario market.
This new policy is intended to optimize the accessibility and promotion of local products. By implementing it, we are providing direction to structure our actions and those of industry players, with whom we plan to work closely. Our policy rests on the following three guiding principles and intends to make METRO:
This approach will take place according to our customers’ needs (freshness, quality, availability, and price of products), the offer from suppliers and in harmony with our business practices.
In a context where local purchasing is the object of several criteria and definitions, METRO has undertaken a thorough consultation and analysis process of current structuring practices to develop its policy. This all leads us to offering our stakeholders clear definitions that allow them to properly understand what METRO means by a regional product or supplier, a provincial-scale product or supplier and an innovative product or supplier.
"METRO has been well rooted in all regions of Quebec for the past 65 years. Local purchasing is already part of our day-to-day activities. This new policy enables us to structure and strengthen our commitment even more. But also, we clearly share what we want to accomplish for the local agri-food sector and economy", said Mr. Christian Bourbonnière, Senior Vice-President, Quebec Division.
Our corporate responsibility approach takes into account the issues and trends that impact our sector and our activities. Our local purchasing policy is therefore based on the realities of the agri-food milieu. Our consultations and review of current practices served to confirm that local products and suppliers are important to our clientele, our employees, the communities in which we operate, as well to the players in the agri-food industry.
Local purchasing contributes to the socio-economic development of our regions and is a high priority in our policy. We are also aware that on an environmental level, local purchasing is a potential pathway to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GGE) associated with transport. METRO will also see to the implementation of initiatives in that area. Local purchasing is therefore one of the levers of responsible procurement and adds to the many other initiatives of the corporation in this area, including our sustainable fisheries policy and our line of Irresistibles Life Smart products that encourage healthy eating.
"We want to mobilize our employees, managers, partners and suppliers so that they can make it easier to have access to local products. As a major food distribution company to have its head office in Quebec, we are convinced that we can make a real difference for local producers and in meeting our customers' needs", said Mr. Serge Boulanger, Senior Vice-President, National Procurement and Corporate Brands.
To establish this policy, we will count on the continuing cooperation of our stakeholders, on the follow-up of results using indicators enabling us to document the impact of the policy, as well as on the mobilization of our teams in order to reach our goals.
“We are delighted to be able to count on METRO's support to make it easier to identify products on the shelves and in the weekly flyer by using logos for Aliments du Québec (Quebec food products) and Aliments préparés au Québec (food products processed in Quebec). By intensifying its efforts to promote Quebec products, METRO will create concrete results for the local businesses that supply it and the entire community will benefit from having stronger and more prosperous businesses.”, pointed out Marie Beaudry, Executive Director, Aliments du Québec.
“METRO’s local purchasing policy is good news for Quebec’s biofood processors, as they will be provided with a unique opportunity to showcase their innovative and local products to consumers.” said Sylvie Cloutier, President and Executive Director of the Conseil de la transformation alimentaire et des produits de consommation (CTAC).
METRO's local purchasing policy can be downloaded on the corporate website. Also, METRO released its 2013 Update on the progress of its corporate responsibility initiatives. Click here to consult it.
With annual sales of over $11 billion and over 65,000 employees, METRO INC. is a leader in the food and pharmaceutical sectors in Québec and Ontario, where it operates a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, The Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.
Senior Director, Corporate Affairs Department