The distance between the place of origin of a product and the METRO wholesale store is defined on a country-by-country basis – using the same benchmarks for large countries, such as Russia or India, and small ones, such as Belgium or Slovakia, would not be productive.
Regionalism in retail and wholesale: best practice from the METRO world
Many of the 34 METRO countries have special projects that promote partnerships with regional producers. Examples? Here is a selection.
- In Moldova, METRO supports local winemakers. Special campaigns and events allow producers to advertise their wines to restaurateurs. After all, quality is not everything. The marketing efforts must be right, too.
- METRO India procures 12,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables directly from farmers through the ‘Direct Farm Programme’. Working without middlemen is much more efficient, while the shorter routes reduce food waste and ensure high quality and freshness. The direct business relationships also boost the income of the participating Indian farmers .
- The METRO wholesale store in Vösendorf, Austria, allows farmers who run their operations within no more than 200 kilometres to present their produce directly in the store using an innovative sales concept: they get to provide information about their products and their origin on screens integrated into the product shelves. Customers can scan QR codes with their smartphones to find out about the locations and other details. The joint project between METRO, AbHof, a direct sales network, and Digitale Mediensysteme GmbH won the Retail Innovation Award in 2019.
- METRO Austria is successively expanding its range of meat to include more regional and sustainably produced specialities. The wholesale store in Salzburg, for instance, sells meat from cows reared in the Reine Lungau Biosphere Park. Stores in Lower Austria now sell pork from locally reared Duroc pigs; the meat bears the AMA (Agrarmarkt Austria) quality seal.
- In the Bulgarian village of Smilyan, farmers have been growing beans at the shore of the Arda river in the Rhodope Mountains for centuries. Since the summer of 2018, METRO has supported that local farming tradition by organising the culinary Smilyan Bean Festival, which attracts visitors to the region once a year. The initiative by METRO Bulgaria helps develop the economy of the village and makes the delicacy available to customers all over Bulgaria.