Which brings us back to the issue of supply chains and product availability. What are the precise measures being taken by the REWE Group to safeguard its supplies?
Markus Bobenhausen: This depends on a number of factors. When it comes to fruit or vegetables that can be stored, such as apples or potatoes, we can take different measured compared to a sensitive product, such as raspberries. It also depends on whether the produce has a short growing cycle which we can still influence, depending on the country, such as the potato example above. If we are talking about stone fruits, where you can’t just plant a tree and then harvest it soon after, then we need to be able to quickly turn to other producers. The product itself determines our response.
Eugenio Guidoccio: Our fundamental position is always to establish sustainable supply chains with suppliers and to develop partnerships which create loyalty to us. Unlike procurement, we are not pursuing a verticalisation strategy with our growers. And we benefit from the expertise of the Eurogroup and at Campiña Verde. Moreover, the REWE Group’s Fruit Logistics hub gives us powerful platforms that allow us to manage the goods flow efficiently.
Markus Bobenhausen: As briefly outlined above, it is important to have a diversification strategy across the main growing regions. For instance, this spring, stone fruits suffered crop failures in France owing to frosts during the flowering period. Due to our flexible procurement structures, we were able to offset this by buying from Greece, Spain, and Italy.