As health and sustainability grow in importance to consumers, they expect retailers to be increasingly transparent about the products they sell to help them make the best choices. Our customers want to know how their buying decisions impact their own well-being, the lives of other people and the health of the planet.
We will drive transparency about where our fresh products come from and make the nutritional value of all own-brand products more transparent. We believe our brands can help customers understand the impact of their shopping decisions and enable them to make choices that fit their needs, their tastes, and their values. To achieve this, our brands will use the latest technologies, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, to bring customers more transparency by 2025 – starting with fresh fruits and vegetables and then moving to the seafood and meat supply chains. By giving customers access to personalized information – through loyalty apps or online advice, for example – our brands will empower and enable busy customers to make better choices.
The volume of product information that can guide consumer choice is vast, reflecting the volume and diversity of our supply chains. In 2020, the global spend for the products our brands sell was over 51 billion Euro, with the majority at our brands in the US, the Netherlands, and Belgium. This purchasing is spread over almost ten thousand first tier suppliers, the majority of which are located in the countries where our brands operate. Albert Heijn already took the next step in supply chain transparency with an interactive world map. The map shows where its own-brand products reach the final step in the production process. The aim is to give customers more insight into the origins of Albert Heijn’s products so they can shop with confidence.
To manage sustainability performance in this broad product supply chain, our brands perform annual risk assessments to identify key suppliers and products with a higher risk profile. Sales volume, geographical location and the type of products they supply – such as products with a high sustainability impact - determine how critical suppliers are to our business. For suppliers of products that contain certain commodities we’ve prioritized for sustainable sourcing (coffee, tea, cocoa, palm oil, soy, seafood and wood fiber) and suppliers that are located in high risk countries, we have specific programs in place which can be found here.