Partner relationships

It is part of Autogrill Group’s mission to build a commercial offering that satisfies a diversity of tastes by drawing on local food traditions and meeting consumers’ needs with the best fragrances and cosmetics, spirits, tobacco products and confectionery. On today’s motorways and in railway stations and airports, Autogrill’s offering is not only richly varied but also segmented for different needs, with areas specially designed for quick transactions and other more suited to business, leisure and tourist traffic. To achieve this, it is vitally important to collaborate proactively with partners (landlords, brand partners and suppliers) to gain new knowledge and be able to anticipate changes in consumer tendencies.

Being in so many places and having direct relationships with communities and cultures within a territory not only makes it natural to privilege local sources for purchasing but also enables Group companies on one hand to monitor quality more precisely and more extensively and on the other to promote local produce and cuisine and shorten the supplier chain (thereby minimizing environmental impact due to goods transportation).

To respect the criteria and requirements of appropriateness, cost and efficiency, supplier selection is a transparent process conducted according to the guidelines of Autogrill’s Code of Ethics, General Purchase Conditions and specific business procedures. Special attention is paid to compliance with immigrant labour regulations and with insurance and welfare obligations towards staff under current law.

Autogrill is thus an organization that sets demanding conditions – insistence on quality, flexibility and maximum professionalism – that are perfectly in line with the Group’s policy of guaranteeing “equal opportunities” for everyone and therefore at all levels of commercial bargaining. The same policy is operated in America through the “Procurement Policy & Procedures”, which guarantee that small local suppliers too can gain admission to the suppliers list thanks to a complete absence of discrimination by race, age, gender, religion, nationality, size, etc.

Following SA8000:2008 certification (renewed at the beginning of 2010), Autogrill defined a supplier risk classification (three levels) on the basis of the different product categories covered by the supplier list:

  • Class A: high risk suppliers that make Autogrill brand products or products made to Autogrill S.p.A. recipes;
  • Class M: medium risk suppliers that sell non-food products originating in the Far East or suppliers of fruit and vegetables or suppliers with a high impact on the Company’s total sales;
  • Class B: low risk suppliers that sell confectionery in the Bottegaccia concept market or drinks and any other non-food products.

In this connection, the Company started to raise the level of engagement of its supply chain not only on the question of employees’ rights but also on environmental issues (following ISO 14001 certification). In 2009, it analysed feedback (around 50%) on a questionnaire it had sent suppliers the previous year on ethical-environmental performance and discussed various key aspects with major suppliers. This dialogue enabled Autogrill to plan two audits for A and M risk class suppliers in 1st quarter 2010.

Supplier selection and monitoring

Autogrill carries out periodical screenings to verify suppliers’ qualifications, using questionnaires, direct and indirect information gathering, samples and audits.

The ethical section of Autogrill Italy’s General Purchase Conditions requires suppliers to accord their employees regulatory conditions that are at least equal to those provided for in Decree Law 231/2001 (administrative liability of legal persons) and health & safety legislation applicable to employees working in Autogrill locations. Suppliers commit to subscribing an “Interference Risk Evaluation Document” attached to the contract documents specifying measures adopted to eliminate the risk of interference from concomitant activities taking place in the same workplace.


The General Purchase Conditions require suppliers not only to respect current environmental regulations but also endeavour to preserve the natural environment from any form of pollution or impoverishment by avoiding behaviour detrimental to the quality of natural resources (water, air, soil and subsoil). In this regard, Autogrill’s suppliers are required to provide, when possible, eco-compatible alternatives (ecologically branded products, low packaging content, recyclable/bio-compostable products).

Once a supplier has been selected, Autogrill guarantees, in compliance with HACCP procedures, the hygiene, safety and wholesomeness of purchased products for their entire life cycle: from warehouse stocking to refrigerated counters at points of sale. Further quality and wholesomeness guarantees are provided by microbiological analysis by external specialists (at all levels, from raw materials to finished products) in accordance with plans based on risk assessment methods. In the main countries where the Group operates, food safety and quality audits are carried periodically and also in response to results and requirements emerging from risk analysis.

Co-operation with suppliers

Raw material supplies (food and non-food) are essential for Autogrill’s business continuity.

The partnerships developed over the years with certain suppliers have enabled innovations in product development processes leading to higher quality for the end consumer. This approach is pursued both with merchandise suppliers and service providers (maintenance, cleaning, safety, etc.).

Autogrill believes it is fundamentally important to establish relationships of collaboration with its suppliers, not only to offer consumers quality products but to search together for new solutions that also create value for the market, in terms of development of new equipment and optimisation of processes. Autogrill and its network can act as a powerful vehicle for boosting local economies and their quality products. Its restaurants, in fact, feature dishes prepared to traditional local recipes, while other areas in a location focus on local produce and often host tastings and other events of local relevance. The benefits arising from such promotion of local food and wine (also in collaboration with local government) are not only for our long-term suppliers: by involving local farm companies as well, the Group is supporting local infrastructure, the community and its economy.

Autogrill points of sale all over the world have space dedicated to local wine and food specialities. For example, the “La Bottegaccia” brand, which in Italy constitutes a sort of shop-in-shop for local foods and wines. Hundreds of selected La Bottegaccia products (preferably bearing I.G.P., D.O.P., D.O.C., or D.O.C.G. certification of origin) are sold in Autogrill markets on motorways throughout the country to represent the best of local traditions, while the American “Ciao” concept offers a selection of typical Italian and European products.

In its choice of suppliers also on the basis of local quality, authenticity and flavour, Autogrill has developed some important joint-ventures with local economies, leading to strategic alliances with small and medium sized market operators. One example is the promotion of Parma farm produce in France in collaboration with local chambers of commerce and consortia representing “Prosciutto di Parma” and “Parmigiano Reggiano”. The initiative covers the promotion and marketing of typical Parma products in Autogrill’s 276 points of sale in France, on motorways, in railway stations, airports and shopping centres, including the food-court in the Louvre.

suppliers typology

Integrity in supplier relations

Autogrill Group interacts with suppliers on a daily basis, aiming to improve the efficiency and reliability of these relationships and the quality of the products offered.

The US division is working to promote the adoption of correct trading behaviour by its suppliers through Avendra, which is Autogrill’s main interface for Food & Beverage procurement in the US. In Europe, Autogrill Belgium is part of Bemora, the Belgian Modern Restaurant Association, whose members include Belgian hotel, restaurant and café (“HoReCa”) chains such as Quick, Colmar, Le Pain Quotidien, Lunch Garden, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. Bemora’s mission is to give all HoReCa companies the chance to develop fully; as such, it champions the need for clear, simple, uniform legislation to combat the tax abuse and social ills that are rampant in this sector.

Asupply: e-sourcing platform for managing technical purchasing

Autogrill uses the e-sourcing platform Asupply to manage its goods and services purchasing (consumable materials, contracts, etc.) whilst ensuring transparency and equal opportunities for all suppliers. The platform has three main advantages:

  • an on-line bidding process, providing greater efficiency through automation whilst guaranteeing transparency and equal opportunities for suppliers, clear and uniform processes and fast and effective interactions;
  • dynamic management of negotiations, in order to save money and time;
  • a wider pool of suppliers.

The new platform has so far delivered benefits in terms of:

  • savings on technical purchases, of around 10%;
  • greater transparency and ease of control, through enhanced planning of pre- and postsourcing operations thanks to the mapping of processes at all levels;
  • a structured analysis and evaluation model for supplier performance assessment with direct involvement of end users.

Finally, we report only five lawsuits in Italy, which demonstrates Autogrill’s healthy supplier relations.