Throughout 2016, Sonae MC reinforced its commitment to the Continent Producers Club (CPC), in order to consolidate the link between production and distribution. Based on innovative and ambitious projects, the CPC drives one of the pillars of Sonae's sustainable development strategy. This Club promotes regional employment and strengthens the competitiveness of national suppliers. Promoting a stronger relationship between producers and academia and research centres was another of the CPC's key actions during 2016, mainly through the creation of the Scientific Council that works as a platform for the exchange of knowledge and as a driver of the producers’ competitiveness. At the same time, with strict criteria for the certification of producers, the CPC ensures compliance through annual internal audits. Today the CPC is a true success story, bringing "the Best of Portugal" to all of Sonae MC’s customers. During 2016, several projects were developed among the producers who are a part of the CPC, such as the cereal and bakery producers’ meeting and the fruit and vegetable producers’ meeting that we would like to highlight next.
CPC: Cereal and Bakery Producers’ Meeting and the Fruit and Vegetable Producers’ Meeting
With the aim of reversing our dependence on international cereal producers, balancing our trade balance (which in the case of cereals is very low, importing more than 90%) and to contribute to the development of local producers, CPC developed a type of wholemeal bread which comes from the Alentejo region. This bread is an entirely national product, produced from the recovery of several varieties of Portuguese wheat, of proven origin and quality.
In parallel, through a partnership with PortugalFresh (Association for the promotion of fruits, vegetables and flowers of Portugal), we implemented an action that aims to communicate the benefits and advantages of consuming national, seasonal fruits and vegetables. This action includes the distribution of these products to children who visit Continente stores with their families and, in doing so, stimulates sustainable consumption.
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