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2022-01-24

‘Home sweet home’ : Shoprite group punts local sugar in stores to protect SA jobs

The Shoprite group will prioritise the sale of locally-produced sugar in its 1 189 Shoprite, Checkers and Usave supermarkets across South Africa.


Ahmed Areff | Fin24

This forms part of a partnership with industry body SA Canegrowers Association’s “Home Sweet Home” campaign, which aims to 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”.

 

"In January 2022, the Shoprite Group have rolled out in-store advertising in the sugar aisles of all their stores that encourages consumers to buy local sugar. Given Shoprite’s extensive footprint, the partnership is a significant development for South African cane growers and the one million people they support," Shoprite and SA Canegrowers said in joint statement on Monday.

"Its involvement will enable the Home Sweet Home message of buying local sugar to reach more consumers and help protect South African jobs and livelihoods."

In December 2020 industry stakeholders signed the Sugar Master Plan, which included commitment from large users of sugar to procure at least 80% of their sugar needs from local growers.  The plan seeks to ease a crisis caused by a flood of cheap imports and a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks that lowered demand from beverage makers.

Shoprite and SA Canegrowers said in the statement that the industry faced problems 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 R2.2 billion in 2019 alone," they said.

"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."

 


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