The importance of taking regional differences into account in business is also demonstrated by the way in which the different countries’ culinary specialities are dealt with. Regional products are a source of livelihood for many local smallholders, as shown by the example of Ukraine, where a fifth of the population lives on agriculture. METRO supports Ukrainian regional farmers ‘from the seed to the plate’, as is the motto of its Fermove initiative there. METRO starts by collecting orders for fruit and vegetables according to its customers’ requirements and then specifically assigns these orders to local smallholders, who are supplied with the seeds, fertiliser and expertise by an agricultural partner. The freshly produced fruit and vegetables then make it directly to the METRO Cash & Carry stores, where they are sold under the Fermove label.
Saving the Boškarin cow
Also in Croatia, METRO is supporting regional producers by maintaining a typically Croatian tradition – the rearing of Boškarin cows. This breed of cow from the region of Istria was threatened with extinction – in the 1990s, there were only approximately 100 left. Thanks to METRO’s cooperation with the Agency for the Rural Development of Istria (AZRRI) and with farmers in the region, the stocks of this breed were increased again, and there are now more than 3,500 Boškarin cows once again.
Measures of this kind don’t just maintain traditions – they also give the local producers a boost and promote food diversity.
A world of diversity
Saving the Boškarin cow, training approximately 17,000 farmers in Pakistan, protecting nature by means of permaculture and vertical farming, and supporting kirana store operators: the world of trade and retail is highly diverse, just like METRO’s solutions, in keeping with the motto of ‘Acting today for tomorrow’.