Daniel Petrovečki, Purchasing Director, Lidl Srbija

Recognisable Concept Of Freshness

One of the specific characteristics of retail chain Lidl is that its suppliers don’t deliver goods directly to shops, but rather deliver them to a central warehouse, where detailed controls are conducted on all delivered goods

We primarily try to minimise the period of time from the picking of fruits to them being presented in our markets, so store deliveries are carried out every day – reveals Lidl Srbija Purchasing Director Daniel Petrovečki, speaking in this interview for CorD.

What does the word “freshness” mean to Lidl?

One of the first things that consumers associate with Lidl when it is mentioned is the great selection of fresh and tasty products that can be found in our bakery, butcher’s or on our market, but also at our florists. What all of the aforementioned have in common is the concept of freshness, which Lidl has been recognisable for since it first arrived on the Serbian market. Fresh groceries of proven quality are a prerequisite for enjoying the richness of their flavours and aromas, and achieving all the benefits of their daily consumption in the best possible way. Therefore, for Lidl, the freshness of the products we offer is imperative and that is why we always try to offer consumers in our stores real rhapsody of colors, smells and tastes, which will properly reflect the proven quality and freshness of our products.

How does Lidl conduct controls ensuring the quality and freshness of its fruits and vegetables?

One of the specific characteristics of Lidl is that its suppliers don’t deliver goods directly to shops, but rather deliver them to a central warehouse, where detailed controls are conducted on all delivered goods. This means that controls are conducted immediately, upon the arrival of goods, to check the external and internal characteristics of the delivered products, such as temperature, calibre, sweetness, juice content in citrus fruits and many other parameters. Additionally, the warehouse has two chambers for storing fruits and vegetables with two different temperature regimes. One chamber is intended for the storing of temperature-sensitive products, such as lettuce, cabbage and kiwi, which are suited to a temperature regime of up to 4 degrees Celsius. The second chamber is intended for the storing of products that require a temperature regime of 4 to 14 degrees Celsius, which relates to the majority of products in our offer.

The fruits and vegetables in our offer reach the consumer’s table fresh and succulent, as if they’d just been picked from the field or the garden

How do you maintain the quality and freshness of fruits and vegetables during transport to stores?

Temperature regimes and humidity levels are clearly defined for the transporting of all products in our offer, and adequate means of transport are selected in accordance with that, with specially climatically adapted cargo spaces and zones. Thus, for example, the ideal temperature for transporting butter lettuce is 4 degrees Celsius, while for apples it is 14 degrees. This enables us to ensure that the fruits and vegetables in our offer reach the consumer’s table fresh and succulent, as if they’d just been picked from the field or the garden.

How are checks conducted to ensure the freshness of fruits and vegetables on sale in stores?

A freshness manager is in charge of checking the freshness of fruits and vegetables in our stores. This employee, who you will recognise by their green T-shirt, is tasked with ensuring that goods available in the store are 100% fresh at all times. Given that fruits and vegetables belong to the category of more sensitive foods, the freshness manager checks every two hours to ensure the goods on display meet the prescribed standards, while they also check the expiration dates in the section offering goods at a reduced price.

Which of Lidl’s fruits and vegetables are your favourite choices and why?

Considering that I spent part of my career at Lidl in Greece and that Greek salad was regularly on my menu during the time, I can say that bell peppers, as an essential component of that salad, are my favourite vegetable, while among fruits I would single out grapes, particularly the seedless varieties.

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