The Argentine President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, met earlier today in her office, jointly with Industry Minister Débora Giorigi and Economy Minister (Vice President elected) Amado Boudou, with the President and CEO of Walmart Argentina, Ezequiel Gómez Berard, who was accompanied by Osvaldo Mosteirin, CAO; Horacio Barbeito, CMO, and Hernán Carboni, Director of Corporate Affairs.
During the meeting, the executive made a presentation to the President on the progress achieved by their Program known as “Walmart 360: Hand in Hand with a Growing Argentina”, which drives – as its main objective - the purchase of Argentinean products by the other subsidiaries that Walmart has around the world.
In addition, the top executive showed the progress made in each of the pillars that sustain the program, namely:
- Exports Program: With the purpose of generating international sales for USD 150 million during 2011, Walmart Argentina has encouraged the purchase of local products by Walmart International for a value of USD 113 million as of October 2011, something which means that the commitment set forth last May was met by 75%, there still being 2 months left before the year is over. The sales include destinations like USA, Brazil, Mexico, Chile. The main external sales were groceries, meats, beverages and dairy.
- PYME Program (or program focused on Small and Medium Sized Suppliers): Under a commitment taken on during 2011 to materialize sales from PYME suppliers for USD 9 million, and to incorporate some 40 new companies to the program, Walmart Argentina has generated, as of October 2011, sales from PYME suppliers for USD 8,4 million, which means that the company´s objective has been met by 93%. In addition, the company has added some 44 new companies to the program and has held 6 editions of this program in the cities of Junín (Buenos Aires); Posadas (Misiones), Resistencia (Chaco), Tupungato, San Rafael and Guaymallén (Mendoza).
- Program for Sustainable Agriculture: The company has determined, for the 2011-2015 period, to train 100% of fruit and vegetable producers and to certify 80% of small suppliers in agricultural best practices. In terms of training, this program has been met by 25% as of today. In addition, Walmart – that expects to double the quantity of suppliers from 50 to 100, has incorporated some 81 new suppliers and has started intense negotiations to increase the supply of sustainable fish by 10%.
The meeting was a very positive one, during which we were able to share with President Fernández de Kirchner and her Ministers information on the progress with respect to our Program Walmart 360. The results that we have accomplished in promoting Argentinean products abroad; in inviting new Small and Medium Sized Enterprises to be part of our portfolio of suppliers, as well as the training we ongoingly carry out with small agricultural producers stand as as clear example of how our business plans can integrate and accompany public policies focused on inclusion and growth, Ezequiel Gómez Berard pointed out after the meeting. Walmart is has a strong commitment with Argentina, for which reason we are planning to continue to grow, invest and generate genuine employment for Argentineans, he added.