Press Releases

Make a Difference, ‘Think Local’

In a ground-breaking initiative, Alosra Supermarket has launched a Think Local programme that aims to support Bahrain’s local producers by partnering with them and selling their products at Alosra; promoting local produce and cutting down on imports thus reducing environmental impacts; and educating customers that local produce is good and healthy and contributes to our local economy.

Alosra wants its stakeholders to know that they take their role as a responsible corporate citizen very seriously and Think Local is an example of its involvement in the community.

To kick off the campaign, Alosra has partnered with local Bahraini farmer, Sadeq Abdulla who runs a farm on Budaiya Highway, a stone’s throw away from the supermarket outlet in Saar and is planning to support others around the country.

“For a long time now a great emphasis has been placed on imported goods such as fruits and vegetables. Customers possibly believe that imported produce must be of better quality”, explains Jaffar Al Asfoor, General Manager at Alosra. “With Think Local we intend to prove that this is not the case by handpicking the best produce from local family farms and helping customers discover the abundance of fresh quality food in our own backyard.”

“We want our shoppers to know that local food is good for you, good for the people who grow it and good for the planet. Our goal is to build up customer confidence in local produce, to motivate them to buy more nutritious locally grown food and thereby support the farmers who grow it.”

Not only has Alosra committed to source more fresh produce locally, but the supermarket operation has compiled a number of wholesome recipes, all of which can be made using fresh local ingredients. The recipes are on display in Alosra Stores.

Local produce will also be easy to find in-store with an easily recognisable ‘Think Local’ label which will indicate that an item has been sourced from farms in Bahrain or from within the region.

“Every time you put an item with this label into your basket, you are showing your support for your community”, said Yasmin Hussain, Corporate Social Responsibility & Brand Executive at BMMI.

“While countries across the world have embraced the benefits of being a ‘locavore’ and eating food grown close to home, the movement is yet to catch on in Bahrain, which is where our Think Local campaign comes in.”

“As consumers become more concerned with the quality of their food, we wanted to enable them to experience the taste, health and economic benefits of buying local food. By doing so, consumers not only get a fresher, tastier product that is grown within their own community, but they will also help us reduce our carbon footprint. Transporting fruit and vegetables from overseas consumes energy and creates pollution. When you opt for local produce, you help preserve the environment. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!”

“It is also important to add that Think Local is not just a one-off promotion that we will forget about a few months down the line. It is an integral part of our CSR programme that we intend to replicate in all our areas of operation. In fact GSS, the contracting subsidiary of BMMI in Africa, also conducts similar projects in Africa where we offer catering services to remote campsites. To reduce our carbon footprint, we educate and assist local farmers in the latest agricultural techniques in Mali and Ghana. This ensures we have a supply of fruit and veg within close proximity to the campsites we service without having to transport them from the city which is often 10 to 15 hours away. The programme is a great way to make meaningful change in the countries where we operate.”

Why Think Local?

• Local food tastes better! It’s not rocket science – the fresher the produce, the better it will taste. With local fruit and veg, you can be sure that the furthest distance it has travelled is a few kilometres at most, as soon as it is picked. On the contrary, produce that is flown in from overseas is often several days old and loses freshness along the way as it is chilled, transported and stored before being put on display.

• Local food is said to be far more nutritious than its foreign counterpart. Did you know that produce quickly loses nutrients as soon as it is harvested? Since fresh local produce is sold right after it is picked, it retains more of its healthy nutrients.

• Local produce is also easier on the wallet as it offers better value for money. It is priced much cheaper in comparison to imported produce - without expensive transport and storage costs.

• Speaking of transport, buying local produce is also far more environmentally friendly. Flying in fruit and veg from great distances requires significant energy resources and creates tonnes of pollution. By eating locally grown produce you help to preserve the environment and reduce our global carbon footprint.

• Most importantly, by buying local you are investing in your community and helping to create jobs. The farms we will be sourcing our products from are owned by locals who are investing in the country’s future.