Sligro Food Group sells directly and indirectly to the entire Dutch food and beverages market, where it provides a comprehensive package of food and food-related non-food products and services.
We are supported both by a professional, efficient and fully integrated back-office organisation and by a culture that focuses consistently on the customer and our shared passion for food. Preserving and promoting that typical Sligro Food Group culture in a steadily expanding organisation is a priority.
Sligro Food Group has identified a number of key objectives, as set out below, appropriate to the organisation. Achieving our objectives will strengthen Sligro Food Group's independent position in the market, a position we intend to retain in the longer term.
Our objective is to achieve average annual growth in sales over an economic cycle of around 3%. Our target for organic growth assumes annual inflation of approximately 1.5%.
We also intend, and expect, to grow through acquisitions, although such growth is, by its very nature, less gradual than organic growth. Given the level of fragmentation that still exists in the Dutch food market, we think it is likely that acquisitions can also be made in the coming years. We are also seeking opportunities in the foodservice markets in neighbouring countries.
In May 2015 we decided to enter the Belgian food market. We see many opportunities to create in Belgium a second market in which we want to achieve a top three position in the long term. We expect to open the doors of our first Sligro Cash & Carry in Antwerp, in 2017.
In January 2016, we acquired JAVA Foodservice, a top three player in the Belgian foodservice market that focuses on the institutional market segments, business catering and a number of hotel chains. Sligro Food Group’s ambition is that JAVA Foodservice will grow further in its existing markets in Belgium over the next few years under the JAVA Foodservice name. In addition, JAVA Foodservice will also support the start-up of the Sligro format in the Belgian market.
One of the ways in which we seek to be an attractive partner for our customers is by providing a high level of service at competitive prices.
Our growth strategy provides our staff with opportunities for personal development while giving our suppliers the chance to increase their product sales and introduce new product lines. Society as a whole benefits from increasing levels of employment and the resultant rise in tax revenues.
As a supplier of food we are fully aware of the importance of food safety. The food safety precautions we take are mainly aimed at preventing risks for our customers and our employees.
We accordingly observe strict food safety practices as regards both food processing and the products themselves throughout the various links in the organisation. With a well-equipped quality assurance department we are rigorous in our quality checks. Our procurement department also insists on the same high quality standards and quality assurance procedures among our suppliers and we monitor compliance with these standards both directly and indirectly, through specialist institutions.
To be sure of wielding sufficient purchasing power in the market, our food retail purchases are handled by cooperative purchasing organisation Superunie.
Superunie purchase combine represents a market share of approximately 30%. We handle our own purchasing for our foodservice business, which is the market leader in the foodservice sector.
Trading environment and efficiency
The Group operates in a fiercely competitive environment, with limited scope to translate cost increases into higher selling prices.
We believe we can absorb the impact of cost increases by constantly increasing the efficiency of our operations, for example by ensuring that our distribution, communication and information systems are as effective as possible.
Companies forming part of Sligro Food Group work very closely together to maximise the benefits of internal synergy.
Activities that are primarily customer-related are carried on by the business units, with behind-the-scenes management taking place at Group level.