Pick n Pay’s Wurm leads Retail Charter to promote local products
The Managing Director of Pick n Pay, Norbert Wurm is the new chairman of the Retail Charter Council.
The Retail Charter is a voluntary manifesto, drafted and implemented by leading players in the retail sector to bring about structural transformation of the sector and to find ways of improving shelf access for Namibian products. The council supervises the implementation of the charter which was launched last year March by the Namiba Trade Forum.
On his new role in the council, Wurm said “This is a great opportunity to make a difference in the Namibian economy and the country as such. The implementation of the Retail Charter will not only create local value addition but it is also a big part of achieving Namibia’s Vision 2030. The Retail Charter is about supporting local producers, promoting local products and creating local value and jobs.”
Wurm regards the lack of local support and sourcing as one of the current greatest challenges in the retail sector. “The challenge is that we do not have a large manufacturing base and where we do, we are challenged with cheaper imports which puts more pressure on local producers. Every dollar spent on imported products or services is lost to the country, meaning that dollar adds value and pays for jobs outside Namibia – it is lost to the local economy.”
But defining “local products” is more complex than anticipated. “One of the challenges that we will focus on is to bring clarity and context to “Namibian products” Wurm said adding that producers and retailers need to align on the definition of a local product.
“How much value must be added locally before we can call it local? Some products are produced locally but manufactured with imported raw material – where is the line in terms of local and imported? Once we have clarified this, we as the private sector and in collaboration with the government need to identify the opportunities for Namibia – where are the low hanging fruit and identify which products are feasible to produce locally. Then we can ascertain where we can create the most local value to create jobs and sustainably build up our manufacturing sector that can compete with imported products” Wurm elaborated.
Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Trade Forum, Ndiitah Nghipondoka-Robiati regards Wurm’s appointment as a decision made by the council based on trust and his ability to lead confidently and effectively.
“Norbert has worked with the Forum since its very first meeting and contributed immensely to refining the Charter. His dedication to the process as well as passion for growth at home has resulted in his peers in the Council electing him to continue with the process that he was intimately involved with from the beginning” she said.
Current members of the Retail Charter Council include the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development; Pick n Pay Namibia; the Ohlthaver & List Group; Shoprite; Team Namibia; Taeuber & Corssen Distribution; Food Lovers Market, and Dinapama Manufacturers.