Managing the supply chain to meet customer needs
A Warburtons case study

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Page 3: Primary sector

Primary industries deal with natural resources. They include farming, fishing and mining. Although Warburtons does not own farms or actively farm itself, the company works very closely with farmers in the UK and Canada.

The basis of Warburtons sustainable supply chain is to provide 'quality without compromise'. It feels it has a responsibility to continue to deliver fresh, great tasting and high quality products. As its products depend on using the best ingredients, a close involvement with its farmers is essential. Every year Warburtons uses more than 400,000 tons of wheat. This is the equivalent to 14,000 lorry loads.

By working with farmers, Warburtons can specify the types and varieties of wheat that are grown. This helps to ensure that the quality of bread is maintained. It also helps Warburtons to bake bread that is consistent in taste, softness and freshness.

Building sustainable business

More than 95% of wheat for Warburtons comes from established sources. Working with farmers helps to create the best varieties for Warburtons bread. It also means that Warburtons can work with farmers to develop more sustainable practices, particularly through the reduced use of fertilisers. In its aim to develop long-term sustainable relationships with its farmers, Warburtons prefers to pay a little more for its wheat to ensure high quality consistent supply of materials.

By working closely with suppliers, Warburtons ensures that the standards of these businesses closely match its own. For example, it expects them to be fair, decent, honest and open. The organisation has a set of ethical principles. These explain its expectations of the suppliers in terms of ethical standards in employment, working practices and environmental awareness.

Warburtons | Managing the supply chain to meet customer needs