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UK retailer buildering stronger relationships with S.African avocado growers

Through increased dialogue and expertise on the ground, Tesco is focussed on building stronger relationships with our avocado suppliers in South Africa. This not only means better value and a wider range for our UK customers, but it gives local growers a better return for their crop.

Supplying roughly half of our annual avocado volume, South Africa is one of Tesco's key source countries for this product. The avocado category is experiencing significant growth and, as with all our food, it is important we have the right approach and relationships in place to secure the best quality at affordable prices through sustainable supply chains.

Having Tesco expertise available to understand the challenges and opportunities on the ground is something that is valued by our suppliers around the world, including Westfalia, Tesco's strategic supply partner on avocados.

Through our strong relationships with Westfalia, the UK retailer has been able to bring new varieties in to their range, including the early-maturing Carmen avocado, our Finest Gem avocado and our exclusive giant Avozilla avocado. Such innovation is a testament to the collaborative approach between our experts based at source, our procurement and retail teams based in the UK, and our suppliers.

Making use of the whole crop

By working more closely with their growers, the company has been able to build a better understanding of the volumes that growers have available. Tesco realised that the avocado size which they were demanding did not compliment the sizes that growers had readily available. In response, the retailer altered their specification in 2014 to accept a wider range of fruit sizes on a permanent basis.

In addition, a promotional trade plan was designed to use a fruit size that had a low global demand. They found ways to make use of smaller avocados to offer customers market-leading promotions on a one-off basis to support an even wider range of their growers’ crop profile.

Tesco is working to offer customers the best range, quality and prices, not by putting commercial pressure on their suppliers, but by harnessing our knowledge of global markets and the dialogue we have with our supply partners. The company plans to issue long-term extended contracts to our key strategic partners to further build our grower relationships and secure supply for the future.

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