Pick n Pay has introduced dedicated shop space to promote local South African products, produced by small businesses, to customers. The ‘Meet the Maker’ showcase will be trialed in eight stores across the country over a three-month period.
Speaking at the launch this morning at the Pick n Pay Hypermarket in Brackenfell Cape Town, Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Pick n Pay director of transformation, says that for years Pick n Pay has integrated products from small suppliers onto its shelves, but believes more can be done to promote these products in-store.
“We’ve wanted to take our support a step further in our stores,” explained Adrian Naude, Pick n Pay Group Executive: Hypermarkets. “When in an aisle, a customer is faced with many options. We want to make it easier for customers to support local small business brands. This unique platform for our small suppliers will showcase their products, and tell customers about their business journey too.”
Customers will be able to read about each entrepreneur behind the respective brands being showcased in a leaflet made available in-store. Naude adds, “We want our customers to know that by buying one of these products, they are not just supporting small business, but helping to create employment and uplift local communities.”
One of the small businesses participating in the showcase is father and son duo, Patrick and Emile Langeveldt from Greenworld Chemical Services and Supplies. Supplying Pick n Pay with its house brand firelighters, Patrick says that they are excited about the concept. “This will really stimulate awareness for small suppliers, as well as promote the idea that small suppliers can deliver quality products.”
He explains that he started supplying Pick n Pay in 2010 when they joined the retailer’s Enterprise and Supplier (ESD) Development programme, and today the PnP Firelighter brand is the most bought firelighter in-store nationally. Founding the business in 1985, he now employs eight people who ensure that only the best is produced and packed.
“The world of retail has certainly been an experience, especially the intricate processes which have certainly tested our abilities. The saving grace is the communication we have with our PnP buyer who is always willing to assist,” says Patrick.
It’s often difficult for small supplies to meet the standards required by large retailers, and this is why Pick n Pay established its ESD programme. In 2018, Pick n Pay partnered with more than 100 small businesses and invested approximately R170 million into supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses through mentorship and business development.
There is an age-old proverb that says, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”. Ackerman-Berman believes that Pick n Pay’s ESD programme is equipping small businesses to fill the requirements of retailers and get their products on shelf.
“More importantly, we believe retailers need to create a sustainable ‘pond’ for entrepreneurs to ‘fish’ in. Apart from giving small businesses access to market, we need to ensure they remain long-term, sustainable suppliers to Pick n Pay. We hope this great new platform yields further success for these proudly South African small business owners and the people they employ,” concludes Ackerman-Berman.