'Successful collaboration thanks to focus on the consumer'
Andreas Allenspach is in charge of purchasing fruit and vegetables for Coop Switzerland. It’s his dream job – working with healthy and colourful products, continually playing around with how the products are presented and immediately seeing how shoppers respond. Furthermore, the unpredictability of the weather adds extra dynamism and creates challenges in terms of quality and availability.
Andreas strives to keep 850 stores – ranging from big to small – across the whole of Switzerland supplied with high-quality fresh produce. He is convinced that long-term collaboration with suppliers is the best strategy for achieving this. Clear agreements and trust are essential. These two building blocks enable the partners to work together to identify opportunities for improvement and to give new products a real chance of success when trialling them.
Knowledge and network
Due to consumer preferences and government restrictions on imports, local products are very important in Switzerland. Andreas wants to be able to offer consumers the same flavour and quality in the winter as in the summer, so he has to have a good overview of the international market. To help him maintain that overview he has been making use of Rijk Zwaan’s knowledge and network for years. Trust is at the heart of that partnership too.
Once in a while, Andreas himself spends a week working in the fresh produce department of one of the retailer’s stores. This gives him excellent insight into the trends and any problems that might be present on the shop floor. In his work he also has to take account of the growers, who must be able to grow the products efficiently. Even if their interests sometimes differ, he prefers to focus on their shared goal: satisfied shoppers who consume more vegetables.
Andreas Allenspach works to ensure the availability of high-quality and fresh vegetables on supermarket shelves while also continuously looking for ways to improve. Rijk Zwaan shares in his search. Together we are working towards a healthy future.