Unusually, for a global retail brand like the French Carrefour chain, their range of products in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire include numerous locally sourced products. News has it that they signed as many as 170 different supplier agreements in their bid to source indigenously.
…local products like pineapple from Bonoua (south-east), yam from Bondoukou (east), rice from Danané (west) tomato and outfits designed by local seamstresses in Ivory Coast.
This doesn’t seem like a one off deal either, but a comprehensive sourcing strategy. From the material available on the CFAO website, it seems they’re working closely to train local suppliers and integrate them into their supply chain. The relationship has the potential to go regional, as Carrefour and their local partner CFAO expand their modern retail footprint.
The potential for greater impact is apparent in this strategy, as opposed to the more conventional approach taken by other transnational retailers, particularly those from South Africa. They tend to source from their long established suppliers, even if it means shipping in produce from halfway across the continent.
This will be interesting to watch, particularly from the perspective of the informal sector.