Thursday, April 18, 2024

The Foodland future is bright, and it is local

Franklin dos Santos

Lessons were learned in 2020. Supermarkets became a lifeline; our staff became frontline workers and continuity of food and product supply was never more important.

By Foodland Supermarkets CEO Franklin dos Santos. 

It is armed with these lessons, and a five-year growth strategy, that Foodland heads into 2021.

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, we welcomed new customers, became a regular destination for our occasional shoppers and we strengthened our relationship with our loyal regulars.

The pandemic gave shoppers a different perspective. Foodland’s commitment to local, resonated with, reassured, and often surprised those who shop with us.

During the Covid-19 pandemic shoppers relied on Foodland. They found what they needed – products locally sourced, reasonably priced, and often in abundance.

Now more than ever, we recognise that local, quality produce, sustainable sourcing, and a good store experience are increasingly important to the modern shopper. Our independence served us well and it served our community well.

Over the next five years, the Foodland network will invest more than $300 million in a growth strategy that will further establish us in the hearts, minds, and communities of almost every town in SA.

Championing local producers and creating first to market opportunities is integral to the Foodland philosophy. So, we will continue to invest in, support and nurture first-time producers. We will put them on the shelves – and the road to success – when no one else will. Foodland will collaborate with local suppliers to create products that our community and our customers did not know they needed!

Food provenance and security of supply is important to today’s shopper as we navigate post-pandemic life. It is also important to us.

All Foodland branded products will by 2023 be bound by a Responsible Sourcing Guideline. Our eggs will be cage free, our seafood will be 100% sustainable, and all chicken will become RSPCA approved.

Our access to the $80 million Metcash distribution centre at Gepps Cross guarantees a consistent supply to quality local and international produce and has sufficient capacity to accommodate the Foodland growth strategy.

We employ more than 6000 South Australians. By 2025, Foodland will create more than 2500 jobs within SA.

Our commitment to social inclusion guides our approach to employment and it always will. Our stores and our offices will continue to reflect the community we serve. We’ll employ generations of the same family; we’ll give local teenagers their first job and we’ll put local people on the path to a fantastic career.

Within five years, we will increase our network from 96 to 120 stores.

Hand in hand with our growth strategy, is our steadfast commitment to sustainability. In coming years, every one of our supermarkets will commit to keep food out of landfill. As we head towards zero food waste, all our packaging will be 100% compostable, reusable or recyclable by 2025.

Our contribution to the circular economy will continue to grow.

We support our communities in times of catastrophe, crisis or challenge. Whether it’s donation of food and products in the wake of a bushfire, a cash injection to local crisis charities or in store fundraising for local community groups, we will be there for the people that we serve.

Foodland is and always will be truly local.

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