23 Feb 22 Shoprite Group to prioritise locally-produced sugar on shelf
A new partnership between the Shoprite Group and SA Canegrowers will see the country’s largest retailer prioritise selling only locally-produced sugar in its 1,189 Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper and Usave supermarkets in South Africa.
It will also promote the SA Canegrowers’ Home Sweet Home campaign that encourages South African consumers to buy locally-produced sugar.
Launched on 9 December 2020, the campaign aims educate consumers about the threats the local industry is facing when it comes to the influx of cheap sugar imports and to encourage them to buy locally-produced sugar in order to safeguard rural jobs.
The Shoprite Group has rolled out in-store advertising in the sugar aisles of all its stores that encourages consumers to buy local sugar.
According to SA Canegrowers, given Shoprite’s extensive footprint the partnership is a significant development for South African canegrowers and the one million people they support.
Safeguarding jobs and livelihoods
The sugar industry has faced serious challenges over the past decade including droughts, increasing production costs, falling world sugar prices, and the introduction of a sugar tax. A major threat is weak trade protection against increasing sugar imports, which cost the local industry more than R2.2bn in 2019 alone.
These challenges have threatened 21,000 small-scale growers, 65,000 direct jobs, 270,000 indirect jobs, and the one million people the industry supports.
This is why the Sugar Industry Value Chain Masterplan was developed by government, the sugar industry and other key stakeholders in order to ensure the long-term sustainability and profitability of the sector. Under the Masterplan, retailers have committed to procuring at least 80% locally-produced sugar by the end of the first year of the plan’s implementation.
SA Canegrowers chairman Andrew Russell said: “We welcome the Shoprite Group’s efforts to achieve this target, including partnering with us on our Home Sweet Home campaign. We hope to see more retailers and other industry stakeholders follow Shoprite’s example and commitment to helping us secure the future of the industry and its workers.”