Retail roundup: Sainsbury’s giving millions back to store colleagues

Produce Business reports

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s announced it is increasing pay for store colleagues by 20p for their “incredible efforts to help feed the nation during the pandemic,” part of a £100m effort to give back to their workers.

In addition, the retailer will give some of those who have served in frontline capacities an extra £530 based on a 3% boost in their income.

“In the last 12 months our frontline colleagues have shown outstanding commitment to our customers,” Clodagh Moriarty, Retail and Digital Director at Sainsbury’s, said. “I feel so proud and humbled by the dedication our colleagues have shown day in, day out and would like to thank everyone for the part they have played throughout an extraordinary year.” 

Sainsbury’s colleagues have received a 24% boost in pay over the past five years. The latest raise increases the pay to £9.50 for most Sainsbury’s workers and £9.00 for Argos employees, while those in Central London are now earning £10.10. 

In January, the retailer said after forgoing business rates relief of £410 million, it will report at least £330m underlying profit before tax in the financial year to March 2021, in contrast to the £586m profit it made in the financial year to March 2020.

Waitrose teams up to help those in need: Waitrose on Monday began a trial partnership with FareShare that will gift surplus farm food to families in need, part of the Give A Little Love Campaign.

The retailer through 30 June will provide funds to FareShare “to contribute to the distribution of surplus food from its farms, taking away all handling costs from farmers and helping them to maximise the number of donations they can make.” Part of the effort includes taking excess food from its Leckford Estate.

The plan is to ultimately have the equivalent of five million meals that will go to families and especially children that include a variety of fruits and vegetables, including apples, cucumbers, crooked carrots, mushrooms, peppers, sweet baby sprouts and tomatoes. 

“We’ve all been inspired by the brilliant work Marcus Rashford has been doing, and we believe there is now a real opportunity for the industry to stand united and help tackle food poverty right from the farm,” James Bailey, Executive Director of Waitrose, said. “While farm surplus is put to good use, we must do everything in our power to divert any edible food we can to families that need them during this pandemic. This is just the start and we hope this will lead to us achieving our goal to one day eradicate all avoidable and edible farm waste.”



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