Walmart's global sourcing team visited Johannesburg recently to meet with 18 of Massmart's South African suppliers who are interested in exploring opportunities to export their products to Walmart markets.
This is as a result of a discussion that took place at the World Economic Forum in Davos between Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel (who was then Minister of Economic Development) and the president and CEO of Walmart International Judith McKenna.
The initiative represents an extension of the Massmart Supplier Development mandate to include assisting local suppliers to access Walmart’s global markets. The retailer's Supplier Development Programme (SDP), just prior to facilitating this export initiative, announced that it had surpassed the R1 billion procurement mark with small manufacturers who participate in the programme.
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Commenting on the achievement of the R1 billion procurement milestone and the new export initiative Minister Patel said, "The Massmart SDP provides an example of the role the private sector – with government’s support – can play in bringing more South Africans into important value chains in the economy.
"I am encouraged by the levels of procurement so far from these small, local suppliers and look forward to seeing both the number of small business suppliers and the levels of procurement growing in the years to come; and also to seeing more South African suppliers integrated into the global supply chain of Walmart.”
From dried fruit to gardening tools
For this first visit, the Walmart global sourcing delegation, which includes the chief administration officer of Walmart International JP Suarez, Walmart global sourcing senior vice president Ash Eisa and the Walmart global sourcing director Sean Reber, met with 18 South African suppliers that provide Massmart with products ranging from dried fruit, peppadews and local wines, to flatpack furniture, gardening tools and cooler boxes.
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With operations in 27 countries across six continents, the Walmart Global Sourcing team, supported by the Massmart SDP, will review participating suppliers’ products with the goal to match high-potential export products to suitable Walmart markets.