Operated by ACI Logistics, Shwapno is the largest retail chain in Bangladesh with 56 outlets across the country. Launched in 2008, Shwapno currently serves more than 32,000 customers a day, offering everything from fresh produce to daily household goods and broader lifestyle categories. ACI Logistics is part of ACI Limited, one of the largest business conglomerates in Bangladesh. ACI’s emergence as one of the largest agricultural sector aggregators in Bangladesh (through its subsidiary ACI Agribusiness) inspired the company’s “Seed to Shelf” vision: connecting the country’s farmers directly with consumers, to offer the best value and quality to urban households.

Shwapno currently feeds over 150,000 families every month. For the people behind the company, this is already a serious responsibility. But this is only the beginning. Bangladesh – a country of over 160 million people – is in the midst of a massive transformation. While the majority of the population is rural-based, rapid economic growth and urbanization are leading to unprecedented changes in consumer behavior and presenting new challenges. Food safety is one of the greatest public health concerns in Bangladesh. The majority of urban Bangladeshi consumers still fulfill their grocery needs from traditional wet markets, which are unregulated and hotbeds of malpractice. Widespread use of chemical fertilizers, artificial ripeness, preservatives and other harmful additives have compromised the entire supply chain.

Ensuring food safety has always been one of Shwapno’s core values. Apart from establishing its own quality assurance systems (including supplier vetting, testing for additives, etc.), Shwapno has been a leading advocate for promoting consumer rights in Bangladesh, by not only raising industry standards but also actively conducting public awareness drives for food safety, nutrition and sustainability issues. ACI Logistics’ impact extends to the other side of the value chain as well. Presently, two-thirds of all the fruits, vegetables, fish and meat products found on Shwapno shelves are sourced directly from farms across the country. Bangladesh has always been a regional breadbasket, and 80% of the population still subsides on agriculture. The fortune of countless farmers is deeply tied to the company: not only because they depend on ACI Logistics to get fair prices for their produce, but also because of the urgent necessity of introducing sustainable agricultural practices and new farming technology.

Considering the company’s growth and broad footprint across the country, ACI Logistics has a major role to play in shaping Bangladesh’s future. Providing the food that goes on the dinner tables of so many families, having a role to play in their health and wellbeing, is a responsibility that the company takes to heart. ACI Limited’s vision is to contribute to the improvement in quality of life. Adoption of HACCP standards is part of the company’s longtime efforts to provide end-to-end quality assurance for its customers. Joining GLOBALG.A.P. will of course support this cause at a practical level. But most significantly, ACI Logistics is joining the GLOBALG.A.P. family to declare a commitment.

Picture source: ACI Logistics