Mercadonathe supermarket company, has decided to stop producing one of its products with the aim of improving quality and optimizing manufacturing processes, generating greater efficiency and profitability.

Specifically, Mercadona is going to progressively stop producing breadwhich is the only product that it produces on its own, in the different existing lines in the warehouses of some of its logistics blocks.

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In this way, Mercadona will strengthen its collaboration with suppliers local specialists in this category, as in the rest of the assortment, to continue offering customers “the highest quality at the lowest possible price”, as announced in a statement.

Collaboration with external providers

This decision is made after having started a pilot project in 2018 with the collaboration of several specialist providers who initially assumed the production of more than 20 million kilos of bread per yearspecifically specialties such as milk, flea or wholemeal.

After this initial test, the company has gradually incorporated more local suppliers into the strategy, such as Valero, that makes the ‘peasant bread’ in Catalonia since 2021 or PandeCan, which has been manufacturing millet bread and matalahúva in the Canary Islands since the beginning of 2022; or Mondat, an Andalusian supplier, who has been making the ‘wholemeal sandwich’ for a few months. All of them have contributed, thanks to their “deeper” knowledge of the process and better management of raw materials, to boosting the competitiveness of this category.

What will happen to the workforce

Mercadona, which currently has 20 bread lines located in eight of its logistics blocks, will continue to progressively replace its own bread production until the end of the implementation of the new suppliers specialists.

The measure, however, will not affect “in any case” the 650 people on the workforce who currently work on the baking lines, which they will be relocated as the strategy is implemented. The company has already informed the legal representation of the workers of the decision. This movement will also imply “freeing up” space in the logistics blocks, which will lead to a “significant increase in efficiency and productivity, and will allow them to focus on their ordinary activities of receiving, storing and dispatching products.”

According to Ariana González, general director of bread manufacturing, “in 2018 we chose to look for alternatives to our own production of breadthe only category that the company was in charge of preparing, to bet, as in the rest of the assortment, on specialist suppliers”. Now, “after almost four years of work and joint collaboration that have served to analyze and improve this strategy, we confirm the expected improvements in quality and efficiency”González points out, and for this reason they have decided “to continue this project throughout the chain with the gradual closure of all the bread lines; which will allow us to reinforce our role as prescribers and focus on what we know how to do best: offer a efficient assortment of the highest quality and at the lowest possible price”.