German retailer Kaufland has strengthened buying in its eastern European businesses by incorporating them into buying alliance EMD.

Kaufland is already a member of EMD, Europe’s largest buying alliance, but will extend the relationship so it also purchases for its stores in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.

The retailer said the move would “increase the selling and marketing possibilities for those manufacturers of branded products… that are already co-operating with Kaufland”.

Earlier this year Asda joined EMD, which operates in 19 countries and has a turnover of €178bn (£135.37bn).

Frank Hirnschal, a Kaufland board member who is responsible for commodity trade, private label and marketing, said: “Kaufland is strongly committed in the EMD alliance. In the eastern European markets, we hold a strong position, which allows us to obtain substantial buying and marketing volumes. As these volumes are now concentrated in the EMD negotiations, we increase sales opportunities for our industrial partners in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.

“We feel therefore confident that our co-operative partnership will enable us to obtain a higher and customer-oriented market penetration.”

EMD managing director Philippe Gruyters added: “The Europe-wide integration of procurement volumes and marketing activities brings huge benefits for all involved sectors, such as a sustainable and customer-oriented strengthening of market presence and distribution density of our EMD members. Moreover, the leading role of EMD among Europe’s buying and marketing alliances constitutes a big advantage for distributors, producers and customers.”