Keeping our shelves stocked and supporting our suppliers
Stocking our shelves
At the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, our brilliant colleagues worked day and night to respond to increased demand in our 151 stores around Ireland. While demand was very high for particular products, behind the scenes at our Distribution Centres, our teams picked and packed hundreds of thousands of cases of fresh and ambient foods, and household products for delivery to stores every day, which meant the impact on shelf in stores was low.
Months on, while the demand has eased a little, work has continued to ensure we have supply of the products we all need. As always, we are working with our Irish and international suppliers to seek to minimise any impacts on the supply chain, and ensure that impacts on our supplies of food, drink and other products are kept to an absolute minimum.
The video below gives a little glimpse of the work that goes on behind the scenes at our Fresh Distribution Centre, which helps to keep our shelves stocked in our stores across the country.
Tesco Fresh Distribution Centre, March 2020
Supporting our suppliers
Many of our suppliers are small, family-run businesses and - since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic - smaller suppliers have been amongst the hardest hit in the food industry. To support them at this time, and assist them with their cashflow requirements, from March we have initiated invoice payments as we receive them, processing payments within five days, rather than the usual 14-day period.
We have now extended these amended payment terms until January 2021, meaning over 200 small Irish food and drinks companies will continue to be supported throughout the busy Christmas period and beyond.
In horticulture, we also recently confirmed a further extension of our 20-year relationship with Country Crest for the supply of potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes in a two and a half-year contract worth €62.5million. Sourcing from farmers all around Ireland, this should give confidence to the wider sector at this time.