Colruyt Group taken on additional commitments for Belgian agricultural sector

Colruyt Group taken on additional commitments for Belgian agricultural sector

Thursday, February 22, 2024

As a Belgian retail group, Colruyt Group is committed to taking further action in support of the Belgian agricultural sector. Specifically, the group is set to increase the purchase price for beef carcasses and ensure that this increase is passed on to the farmer in its entirety. As far as the price paid by consumers in stores is concerned, Colruyt will maintain its lowest prices promise. What’s more, the group is committed to offering as many Belgian products as possible in its stores, and will highlight these products. Offers on products from the Belgian agriculture sector will be carefully reviewed together with suppliers.

Earlier this month, the first taskforce with representatives from across the entire agri-food chain in Belgium took place. In addition, a work meeting with representatives from the different agricultural organisations and retailers was organised, at the beef sector’s request. Colruyt Group stresses that structural solutions can only be found within the chain as a whole. At the same time, the work meeting with the beef sector created an underpinning of cost and return evolutions in cattle farming. Colruyt Group subsequently looked at this in more depth and decided to increase the price for beef carcasses.

Belgian retailer takes the lead for Belgian beef sector

Colruyt Group is now taking a major step by implementing an additional purchase price increase for beef carcasses. Specifically, a purchase price increase was already introduced halfway through February, and another purchase price increase is now being added.

Gunther Uyttenhove, director Fine Food at Colruyt Group: “We eagerly applaud and welcome the consultations within the taskforce working groups and will absolutely lend our efforts. Today however, we feel that - as the only Belgian retailer - we have a duty to keep our finger on the pulse of the Belgian agricultural sector. We already do this regularly for all parts of the sector and have done so even more in recent weeks. It is clear that the beef sector is being hit hard today. We believe it is important to take the lead here for the Belgian market and support Belgian beef farmers even better today. We will evaluate this approach on a regular basis.”

Direct impact

Colruyt Group is no novice in this. The retailer has been working directly with beef farmers since 2019. Today, Colruyt Group works directly with beef farmers for 35% of the volume of beef sold, with great transparency in the cost breakdown. Even now, for this increase in the purchase price for the entire sector, Colruyt Group insists on transparency in the chain and will ensure that the increase is passed on to beef farmers in its entirety.

What’s more, the retailer emphasises the importance of looking at the beef sector chain as a whole. Gunther Uyttenhove: “We are a major buyer of Belgian Blue and we can see a lack of transparency in the chain. And it’s this transparency in the different costs in the chain that is crucial to us. Every link has to play its part to ensure that we can work together on a sustainable future for the Belgian beef sector.”

Spotlight on Belgian products

Colruyt Group has long been committed to offering as many Belgian products as possible. To this end, the group works with 6,000 Belgian farms and has direct partnerships with no fewer than 600 small and large farms. Eggs and milk offered by Colruyt Group as part of its house brands are 100% Belgian. The pork, beef and veal from the Colruyt butchers is 99% Belgian1. For fruit and vegetables, Colruyt Group also aims for Belgian origin as much as possible: 75% of this range is from Belgian soil.

Colruyt Group is already committed to promoting Belgian farm products to customers, but recognises that additional steps are possible. It will for instance highlight this range as well as the origin of these products even more for better customer awareness. ​ The retailer will do this through various communication channels, both in store, via folders, and through digital channels.

Offers on products from the Belgian agriculture sector will be carefully reviewed together with suppliers. Colruyt Lowest Prices will stay true to its lowest prices promise to consumers, and will continue to apply the lowest prices as well as offers on the market to achieve this.

In addition, Colruyt Group will continue its active contribution to the dialogue within the taskforce with a view to a sustainable and constructive collaboration between the retail and agricultural sectors.

1 There is 1 reference beef from abroad: Irish ribeye. This logically has a different origin, but is a exception within the range.