Following its ‘Ethical Sourcing’ strategy, Siam Makro Public Company Limited designated Shan State as its local source of vegetable supplies for the first Makro store in Yangon. The Company aims to raise safety standard of the entire food chain by working alongside local suppliers; while also introducing the concepts of sustainability and Smart Farmer to farmers.
Mrs. Siriporn Dechsingha, Chief of Corporate Communications Officer, Siam Makro PCL, disclosed that, since Siam Makro expanded its business to Myanmar, the Company was determined to maintain its ethical sourcing policy in order to support local farmers. The Company deployed a team to search for high-quality products from certified suppliers, especially vegetables as Makro usually has over 500 varieties of green on sale at each store. Subsequently, Makro has identified Shan State as its primary source of vegetable supplies, noting that over 60% of all greeneries consumed throughout Myanmar are originated from this very state.
“Through the connection of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), Makro team had an opportunity to work closely alongside GAP-certified Myanmar Farmers Network and learned that the most crucial difficulty Myanmar farmers are facing is the lack of distribution channels. Myanmar farmers usually sell their produce at fresh markets. However, with our alliance, Makro will become an additional distribution channel and help launch a new standardized market for these farmers.”
Considered an economic potential area, Shan State has received a strong support from the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations in terms of agricultural businesses and investment. Most of the citizen in this state are farmers and its economic crops include rice, corn, soybean, potato, sugarcane, avocado, veggies, coffee beans, and tea leaves. For animal products, the state is a major producer of eggs, dairy, beef, chicken, and pork.
In addition to its primary role as a modern-market distributor for local farmers, Makro team also educated them about marketing practices, particularly the idea of “marketing-led production” agriculture. The Company has introduced the entire production techniques from upstream to downstream, including trimming crops, packaging, post-harvest handling to prolong and maintain the quality of the crops, and transportation by using refrigerated trucks to deliver produce directly to Makro’s store in Yangon.
“Makro has agreed to purchase vegetables from a large farmer network in Shan State which consists of more than 200 members. The Company has extensively studied consumer behaviors and markets in Myanmar, and decided to supply a variety of vegetables, including winter and local vegetables, in order to serve the demand of consumers and restaurant owners who are its main target groups. And most importantly, before allowing any products to be sold in a Makro store, they must pass Makro’s safety standards and internationally-recognized global food standards.”
Expanding business into Myanmar, Makro remains committed to its principle to ensure mutual growth of every stakeholder by leveraging on technology, innovation, and creativity, in accordance to its 6 Strategic Goals, namely:
1) Be Point of Reference for Food Safety – Makro places a great deal of emphasis on food safety. We strive to meet the demands of our food-business-operator customers, as well as modern-day consumers who value their health and well-being and willingly spend their money on safe foods per the regulations of their country.
2) Strengthen Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing – As Makro continues to value the ability to trace products back to their sources, we are committed to working only with lawful producers and suppliers. In addition, we always take the sustainability of our environment into consideration to make sure of mutual growth.
3) Reduce Environmental Impact – Because Makro is keenly aware of the value of the environment and natural resources, we are committed to expending natural resources and energy in the most efficient manner possible for the utmost benefit, including our efforts to ensure that all of our processes are environmentally friendly.
4) Local Love – Makro hopes to be loved by the local communities that surround our stores. To this end, we strive to be beneficial to them, whether by creating jobs locally, providing retail management education to small local retailers and equipping youths with retail-management knowledge that helps them better their local stores.
5) Make Our Customers Prosper – Makro committedly studies potential technologies and develops them into business channels to facilitate our customers’ business processes, increase their profits and foster sustainable growth in the new era of competition. These efforts will bring about satisfaction among our customers, ensuring their loyalty in the long run.
6) Be Employer of Choice – Makro strives to be one of the top 5 organizations that people, especially new graduates, want to work with. Additionally, we have begun conducting an engagement survey among our existing personnel, the results of which will be used to transform Makro into an organization for all ages.
Presently, the first Makro store in Myanmar is soon to be completed. The store is situated in central Yangon and expected to launch in the near future.