Supplier opportunity

SASB: FB-FR-430a.3
GRI: 102-9; 202; 204-1
UN SDGs: 2, 5
S | Last Updated: July 7, 2021

Our aspiration

Our aspiration

Through sourcing, Walmart intends to delight our customers around the world and promote inclusive economic growth and development. We aim to create economic opportunities for our suppliers, for the people they employ, for their communities and for people who work throughout supply chains.

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Key goals & metrics

Goal
Metrics
FY2019
FY2020
FY2021
Between 2013-2023, purchase an incremental $250 billion in products supporting American jobsDollars purchased- cumulative totals$76 billion$105 billion$145 billion184
Number of diverse suppliers185 to our U.S. businesses — goods and services~ 2,800~ 2,900~ 2,900
Amount sourced from diverse suppliers186 to our U.S. businesses – goods and services> $11 billion> $11.7 billion> $13 billion
Walmart Foundation grants to support smallholder farmers in India, Mexico and Central America (cumulative since 2017)
> $37 million> $52 million
Between 2018-2022, Walmart Foundation to invest $25 million to strengthen smallholders in farmer producer organizations and farm yields in IndiaDollars invested (cumulative since 2018)
> $13 million> $20 million

See all data and progress toward goals and commitments in our ESG Data Table.

Relevance to our business & society

The core of our business is bringing quality, affordable food and other products to our hundreds of millions of customers around the world. The purchase orders we place to procure those products can have a profound and positive effect. Strategically sourcing products from a mix of large, small, diverse and local suppliers supports economic inclusion of suppliers who might not otherwise have the opportunity to bring their products to market, helps existing suppliers grow, provides opportunities for members of underrepresented communities to thrive and stimulates job growth in the markets in which the products are made. For Walmart, these strategies enhance our ability to offer a broader assortment of unique and hard-to-find products to our customers and can improve surety of supply and supply chain resilience.

Walmart’s approach

Through sourcing, Walmart aims not only to delight our customers but also to provide opportunities for economic growth and development for our suppliers, for the people they employ, for their communities and for people who work throughout supply chains.

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Most of the products we source for our retail businesses in the U.S. and other major markets like Mexico were made, grown or assembled domestically. For example, two-thirds of merchandise sold in Walmart U.S. and 93% of merchandise sold in Walmart Mexico fall in this category. Because of the desire to meet customer demand for variety, quality and affordability for products ranging from mangoes to certain electronics, we also source products from around the world.

As part of our local and global sourcing programs, we pursue several special initiatives focused on building a more inclusive and diverse supplier base and contributing to local economies:

  • U.S. manufacturing: Since 2013, we have pursued special initiatives to increase the sourcing of products that support the creation of American jobs (our updated ambition aims for an additional investment of $350 billion in products made, grown or assembled in the U.S. over the next 10 years and the development of “American Lighthouses” to overcome barriers to U.S. production).
  • Supplier inclusion: We have programs to source from and develop diverse suppliers, including suppliers owned and/or operated by women and people of color (in FY2021, sourcing for Walmart’s U.S. businesses from diverse suppliers187 accounted for $13 billion in goods and services).
  • Make in India: Since 2019, Walmart has invested in the development of micro, small and medium sized suppliers in India through our Vriddhi program to prepare them to participate in global supply chains. Most recently we announced an ambition to source $10 billion from India  for export to other Walmart markets each year by 2027.
  • Smallholder farmers and small producers: In India, Mexico, Central America and Africa, Walmart sources directly from smallholders and/or small producers and also invests through philanthropy in facilitating market access and building capacity of smallholders across the sector.

Key strategies & progress

U.S. manufacturing | Supplier inclusion | Make in India | Smallholder farmers & small producers

U.S. manufacturing

Walmart has a long history of supporting American-made products. According to data from our suppliers, in FY2021 nearly two-thirds of Walmart U.S.’s total product spend was on items made, grown or assembled in the United States.

Through our America at Work initiative, launched in 2013, we committed to invest an incremental $250 billion over ten years in products that support the creation of American jobs. As of the end of FY2021, we have purchased $145 billion towards this commitment, which is 93% of our expected progress through the first eight years of the initiative. In March 2021, we announced a new commitment to invest $350 billion in products made, grown or assembled in the United States over the next ten years. Walmart estimates that this investment has the potential to support more than 750,000 new jobs,188 and avoid more than 100 million metric tons of emissions.189

To support our America at Work initiative, Walmart hosted our seventh annual Open Call for shelf-ready products made, grown or assembled in the U.S. in October 2020. More than 800 companies from 47 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico accepted invitations to meet with merchants. We have also produced resources and tools we hope suppliers will find useful, such as our Jobs in U.S. Manufacturing portal and America at Work: A National Mosaic and a Roadmap for Tomorrow, which provides insights into the social and economic conditions by county in the U.S.

In March 2021 we also announced that we’re launching a concept we call “American Lighthouses” to identify and overcome barriers to U.S. production in particular manufacturing segments. We aim to foster collaboration among local supplier communities (including manufacturers and NGOs) as well as others from academia, government and local economic development groups.

Supplier inclusion

Through supplier inclusion initiatives, Walmart seeks to foster equity and inclusion of underrepresented and disadvantaged groups while enhancing our product offering.

In the U.S., Walmart’s supplier inclusion program provides companies owned and operated by racial and ethnic minorities, women, veterans, members of the LBGTQ+ community and people with disabilities equal footing to effectively work with us while at the same time growing their own business. A diverse supply chain helps us deliver the products and services our customers want and need at affordable prices.

In the United States, Walmart sourced more than $13 billion in goods and services from approximately 2,900 certified diverse suppliers in FY2021190. In addition to generally offering products from diverse suppliers in stores and online, Walmart.com includes a dedicated selection of products from diverse suppliers.

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To help Walmart U.S. identify and support diverse suppliers, we have a Supplier Inclusion Portal that provides information on our supplier diversity initiatives and requirements. We also have a merchandising team dedicated to supplier diversity that works directly with interested suppliers and regularly attends business conferences, product and procurement fairs, expos and similar events to help identify potential new diverse suppliers.

Other country-specific initiatives we support through our supplier inclusion work include Central America’s Una Mano Para Crecer (“A Helping Hand”), Massmart’s South Africa Supplier Development Program, and Mexico’s Adopta Uno PyMe (“Adopt an SME”).

Recognition for inclusive sourcing in the U.S.

  • In 2020, we received recognition from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as one of America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprise 
  • Five stars from the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility’s Corporate Inclusion Index for Employment, Procurement and Governance 
  • In 2019 and 2020, Walmart was named to the Omni50 as one of America’s Top 50 Corporations for Multicultural Business Opportunities 
  • Featured in Minority Business News USA’s 2020 Best of the Decade, which honors companies that have had supplier diversity programs for 10 years or more 
  • Featured in U.S. Veterans Magazine’s 2020 Best of the Best list for supplier diversity 

For more information on our supplier inclusion work, please see our Supplier Inclusion website.

Make in India

In December 2020, Walmart announced that it will triple its exports of goods from India to $10 billion each year by 2027. The new export commitment is expected to provide a significant boost to micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in India. This initiative builds on Flipkart’s Samarth initiative and Walmart’s Vriddhi supplier development program launched in 2019, which aims to train and prepare 50,000 of India’s MSMEs to “Make in India” for global supply chains by 2025. Through a collaboration with Swasti, Walmart Vriddhi training includes business management, promotion of customer-centric strategies, workforce management and environmental sustainability.

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Smallholder farmers & small producers

Through sourcing and philanthropy, we aim to help connect smallholder farmers and small producers to domestic markets while strengthening their capacity and resilience.

Sourcing from smallholders & small producers

A large percentage of Walmart Mexico and Central America’s 40,000+ suppliers are small and medium enterprises. These businesses also have specialized supplier development programs focused on small and medium enterprises, including Adopta Una PyMe ("Adopt an SME"), Una Mana Para Crecer ("A Helping Hand") and Tierra Fértil ("Fertile Soil").

Our Massmart subsidiary operates South Africa’s longest running Supplier Development Program (SDP). The aim of the Massmart SDP, which was established in 2012, is to provide opportunities for small and medium manufacturing enterprises and gives preference to black-owned and black women-owned enterprises. The SDP involves assisting suppliers to increase overall competitiveness by meeting product quality standards, investing in bespoke manufacturing equipment to build capacity and providing retail and business management training. As of December 31, 2019, the program had a portfolio of 23 small businesses. Massmart has procured over R1 billion from suppliers in this program since inception.

Philanthropic investments

The Walmart Foundation has awarded grants of over $52 million through the Foundation’s Market Access program to benefit smallholders in India, Mexico and Central America since 2017. These grants are expected to reach over 293,000 smallholder farmers (44% of whom are women). The grants provide access to training and capacity development along with market linkages for smallholders in Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). As part of this total reach to smallholders, in India, the Walmart Foundation has an active $25 million five-year commitment to strengthen smallholders in FPOs. Progress against this commitment as of the end of FY2021 includes 10 grantees with grant awards of just over $20 million, providing reach to over 170,000 smallholder farmers (57% of whom are women).

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Investments in FPOs are designed to help organizations build capacity, establish regional solutions and reach many smallholder farmers. Priority interventions at the farm and FPO level focus on adoption of sustainable practices—such as irrigation, climate smart and good agriculture practices, product traceability—and post-harvest practices that increase quality and prevent loss.

In March 2021 the Walmart Foundation published Seeding advancement of women in smallholder farming: insights from the Market Access portfolio, a three-year retrospective on its gender programming, highlighting lessons learned from its Market Access portfolio. We found that the following areas are most successful in accelerating female farmers’ economic prosperity: women’s membership and leadership in farmer producer organizations, women’s skills and capacity development in farm production systems, women’s inclusive crop and marketing programs and women’s access to finance. Also, in 2020, Walmart.org published a series of farmer stories to create increased transparency of the programs and benefits derived from the point of view of smallholder farmer participants.

Learn more about the smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs programs at Walmart.org.

Challenges

  • There are societal disparities along racial, gender, religious and other lines across multiple systems (including education, financing and representation in senior levels of organizations) in many of the countries in which Walmart operates and from which Walmart suppliers source products. There currently is a lack of effective public policy solutions to meaningfully advance racial equity in societal systems. While Walmart is working to impact certain systems for greater equity, Walmart is one actor and progress is dependent on overall societal movement towards equity and inclusion.  
  • Walmart’s size and scale can create challenges to identifying qualified small, diverse and local suppliers that have the capacity to meet our price, quality, and quantity needs. Walmart must effectively identify barriers to becoming suppliers to large enterprises like Walmart and work to develop programs that help such potential suppliers overcome those barriers. Success also depends on the engagement of such suppliers in building capacity necessary to supply Walmart or other large enterprises at scale.  

Additional resources