Our role is very clear. We are here to improve the value, quality and availability of our products whilst also lowering the cost of goods to Asda and Walmart so they can pass on these savings to customers around the world.
Formed in 2004 by joint shareholders Bakkavor and Teresa Hermanos, International Produce (as we were known back then) took its first delivery of grapes and stonefruit in 2005.
In 2009 Asda purchased IPL and we became a part of the Walmart family. As our remit continued to grow and the diversity of our products evolved, it became increasingly apparent that International Produce Limited no longer encapsulated all that we stood for.
With over 1500 colleagues we are currently spread over five UK sites and ten country offices that span five of the seven continents. But we don't plan to stop there.
Our Produce portfolio covers a range of products from fruit, vegetables and salad through to houseplants and flowers.
Having worked hard to establish ourselves we now run the whole produce retail business for ASDA, eliminating their need for Produce specific buyers. We procure and sell all produce for ASDA allowing us complete control of the supply chain.
We source from all over the world, developing long term relationships with growers and suppliers. We work closely with farmers to ensure our products meet customer demands, providing freshness and great quality for the best price. Recognising that our customers’ needs will continually change drives us to regularly review our products and improve our offer.
Our Ambient business covers three key trading areas consisting of Beverages, Impulse Grocery and Core Grocery.
Our Beverages team focuses primarily on wine and supplies products within Exclusive Brands, Producer labels and Asda Brand. We are the largest supplier of wine to ASDA, adhering to the highest technical standards within the industry and having successfully sourced a number of award winning wines.
We source from all around the world for Asda and also supply to other Walmart markets, predominantly in Asia. The business owns and runs a purpose built packaging site in Snetterton Norfolk, this allows us to control quality, reduce environmental impact and improve savings to customers. In 2014 we are looking to source and supply the equivalent of almost 100 million bottles of wine, whilst expanding our supply to Global Walmart markets.
Our International division is the IPL contact with the wider Walmart world. We source products from all over the world, buying for less and passing on savings to Walmart markets.
Walmart is the largest retailer in the world and has many store formats in many countries across the globe.
Our directly sourced products are bought as sold in their final packaging. Working in partnership with ASDA we buy for less, using our team of experts to ensure we trade with sources that match our demanding standards of hygiene, quality, availability and production efficiency. ASDA focus on the retail strategy and together we are able to pass on savings to customers whilst improving category performance.
Our Sustainability Mission - To do the right thing
We are building sustainability into our business and are committed to a continued progression towards sustainable practices in our own operations and those of the suppliers, factories, farms and growers we work with.
We see sustainability as having three core pillars, Economic, Environmental and Social.
We see economic sustainability as our day job, maintaining a profitable business through driving effectiveness and efficiency throughout.
To remain economically sustainable we also work with our suppliers, farmers and growers to identify efficiency opportunities, maintain a sustainable supply chain and continue to deliver value for every Asda customer.
Environmental sustainability is about understanding our business and supply chains and the impact they have on the natural environment, with our aim being to reduce or eliminate any negative consequences.
In our facilities we have set targets on reducing our consumption of energy and water and also the volume of waste we produce. We operate a zero waste to landfill policy which has been achieved.
We also continue to work to reduce the amount of waste generated by our sites. Working with our suppliers, we have reduced the volume of packaging that comes into the system, as well as improving our waste segregation by identifying paths to reduce, reuse and recycle our waste and food surplus where possible.
Each week we handle thousands of cases of food products. We are working closely with our transport service providers to ensure we are identifying where energy efficiencies in transport can be made.
We organise our own European logistics from our office in Spain and continually assess alternative transport routes to the traditional high energy consuming road freight.
The philosophy behind our social projects has been to invest in increasing the skills and competencies within the horticultural and food industries in some of the regions where we are active. By reinvesting into these countries, we believe we are able to positively influence and impact on processes within our supply chain.
The first region we have invested in and established our social projects, is in Africa. The emphasis in Africa has been placed on allowing workers and students from under-privileged backgrounds to advance their careers and to improve their contributions to the horticultural industry.
In May 2011 we partnered with Oxfam and commenced a project to understand the impact we have on farmers, workers and communities living in poverty in our supply chains. This led to the publishing of the study ‘Exploring the links between international business and poverty reduction: Bouquets and Beans from Kenya’ in 2013.
The study looked at the fresh produce export sector in Kenya specifically in relation to the production of cut flowers and green beans. The export of high-value horticulture from developing countries into developed economies is a significant opportunity for economic development. The study was therefore used to gain an insight into the issues affecting workers and farmers in this sector and to identify how we can address issues within our own supply chain.
Since the publication of the Poverty Footprint study, we have increased sourcing from smallholders with the aim to create sustainable production and improve their livelihoods. Smallholders have the ability to sustainably grow a number of products in our fresh produce range and we have been working to identify these crops.
We are really proud to be at the forefront of new products and innovation and we are the first British retailer to stock sweet yellow passion fruit.
Sweet yellow passion fruit is being grown by a group of Kenyan smallholder farmers who we have worked with for over a year to train them in food quality and safety standards.
We are a rapidly growing and exciting business, dedicated to the development of our colleagues and committed to creating a great place to work.
Our vast and expanding product range supports a diverse collection of roles. From our operational warehouse colleagues, to our specialist product managers and buyers, we seek to instil a work ethic representative of our values.
Our devoted Learning and Development team offer colleagues the opportunity to develop both their professional and personal attributes, ranging from language courses to management skills, ensuring that no aspiration is out of reach.
Reward and recognition rests at the heart of our business and we aim to support colleagues throughout their careers whilst acknowledging their successes. As well as a monthly awards programme, we offer all colleagues access to a comprehensive benefits package, inclusive of a low cost pension scheme and life insurance plan.
We have ambitious plans to further expand our product base, acquire new sites and supply more Walmart retail markets in the near future. It’s an exciting time for us and we are seeking new talent to strengthen our team and help us embrace the challenges we will face as we continue to grow.
Normanton Head Office:
Unit 1, Foxbridge Way, Normanton,
West Yorkshire WF6 1TN
Telephone: +44 (0) 1924 244444
Fax: +44 (0) 1924 221220
Sheerness Produce Terminal,
Spade Lane, Hartlip,
Kent ME9 7TT
Telephone: +44 (0) 1634 267 247
Fax: +44 (0) 1634 269 202
Gate C, Building B12
Harling Road, Snetterton
Norwich, NR16 2JU
Telephone: +44 (0) 1953 715350
Fax: +44 (0) 872 1104952
Warehouse 1, Funthams Lane,
Peterborough, PE7 2PB
Unit E, Hortonwood 31,
Telephone: +44 (0) 01733 200144