DIA also strives to contribute to the social and economic development of its operating markets. It always looks first to local suppliers –especially small businesses- to develop long-term relationships for both the supply of fresh products, which are increasingly important for the new DIA Fresh store models, and the creation of products under its private DIA label.
Of DIA´s 5,664 suppliers, 85.6% are local, directly servicing one or more of DIA’s national divisions. The percentage of local suppliers is even higher in fast-growing countries like China (100%), Argentina (97.4%), Brazil (96.7%) and Turkey (96.5%).
The same is still true in Europe, with local suppliers in Spain and France accounting for 83.6% and 81.3% of the total, respectively. Although local suppliers account for just 55.5% of the total in Portugal, purchases from them represent 77.8%.
As a result of this commitment to local business networks, 89.4% of DIA’s purchases are from local producers.
Quality and customer focus from supply
When choosing suppliers for its private label products, candidates must pass a rigorous preliminary certification audit to guarantee safety at each plant where DIA products will be manufactured. As a prerequisite to inclusion among the private label producers, they must also participate in and pass a consumer test designed to assess consumers’ opinion of the products being developed based on their organoleptic properties (aspects as experienced by the senses; e.g. taste, smell, sight, touch). All DIA product tests are compliant with UNE 87004:1979 and UNE 87023:1995 sensory analysis standards.
In addition to internal tests, DIA works with certified external laboratories, which select panelists based on the consumer target group defined by age, consumption type, gender, etc.
Supplier audits and consumer tests are carried out regularly after the product is on the market as a way to ensure the quality, safety and customer opinion of DIA products over time.
Alongside development processes, DIA endeavours to maintain the freshness, quality and safety of all the products its offers to consumers in its stores. This includes both private label and supplier brand products, as well as perishable goods (meat, chicken, fish, fruit and vegetables). To do so, it monitors the entire cold chain, starting at the supplier’s plant and going all the way to the point of sale.