Walmart moving toward goal of procuring $60M from Puerto Rico vendors
During what is known as “Local Industry Month,” Walmart Puerto Rico announced that it has completed, ahead of schedule, its 2018 commitment to increase purchases of locally harvested, manufactured, and elaborated products by more than $20 million, and is pushing that goal now up to $60 million.
“Since we established our first store in Puerto Rico, Walmart has made a firm commitment to the socioeconomic development of the island through various business strategies and corporate social responsibility initiatives,” said Viviana Mercado, senior manager of Corporate Affairs of Walmart Puerto Rico.
“During these three decades, we have strengthened and expanded our support for locally harvested, manufactured, processed, and distributed products, to generate and maintain hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs and boost commercial activity to improve the quality of life of Puerto Rican families,” she said.
In 2018, Walmart announced a commitment to increase the purchase of local products by an additional $20 million through 2023. This objective was achieved in 2021, thanks to the “Open Call Puerto Rico” program, an initiative that creates bridges and opens doors to local companies to sell their products in more than 300 suppliers that offer a variety of products.
Through the four editions of “Open Call Puerto Rico,” Walmart has continued to substitute imported merchandise for local products at a steady pace, “increasing the offer and variety of fresher and high-quality local products in our stores for the benefit of consumers,” Mercado said.
To celebrate and recognize the commitment of local suppliers to offer quality products to consumers, Walmart unveiled a campaign featuring success stories from Puerto Rican agribusinesses and manufacturers throughout Puerto Rico that have grown with the retailer’s support through the yosoywalmartpr Facebook page, and stores.
The initiative features the people behind the stories, namely, Cristina Vélez and Miguel Cruz, from Bon Bini Bakery in Mayagüez; José Torres, from Café Oro in Lares; Mabel Pola Montero, from Especias Montero in Ponce; Josefina Arce and Betzaida Ortíz, from Agroempresas Atabey in Santa Isabel; Francisco Viejo López, from Lanco Manufacturing in San Lorenzo; Sonia Reyes and Ismael Rivera, from Marey Heater Corp. in San Juan; and Guillermo Cidre, from Cidrines in Arecibo.
“We’re proud to see that our suppliers grow and that their products are successful on the shelves of our stores. That’s why we work hand in hand with them to provide them with all the direct support they need, such as business training in product development and sales strategies. Seeing them grow with our support fills us with pride and satisfaction,” said Mercado.
Another benefit that Walmart offers local suppliers is that their products and services are identified with the chain’s “Hecho Aquí, para ti” exclusive seal, to promote their consumption among customers.