Spotlight: How Jerónimo Martins uses its business assets to address hunger and poverty

  1. Why has Jerónimo Martins chosen to support hunger and poverty relief projects?

By tradition and out of our sense of mission, at the Jerónimo Martins Group we are deeply engaged with the surrounding communities. In a world where resources are scarce and so many people starve or are insufficiently nourished, and having food as the core of our business, we believe that we can make a difference in the lives of people in need by providing them with food that otherwise would not be eaten.

Ultimately, we aim to be an agent of social change. Nevertheless, we are aware that some needs demand an immediate answer. This is where our food donations programs fit in, while we strive to meet the goals set globally by the United Nations in what concerns hunger, food security and nutrition.

  1. How are Jerónimo Martins community programs helping communities in need?

With over 821 million people suffering from starvation each day worldwide and an estimate of 1 million tonnes of food going to waste every year in Portugal, 9 million tonnes in Poland and another 9.7 million tonnes in Colombia, food donations have been a reality in our stores for many years. Taking advantage of our geographic distribution and consequent population proximity, we favour charities working with vulnerable groups: the elderly, disadvantaged children and young people.

In 2017, Pingo Doce in Portugal donated the food equivalent of over 9,600 tonnes, while Biedronka stores in Poland totalled approximately 670 tonnes of surplus food, estimated to have reached nearly 11,000 people. Ara, in Colombia, donated over 116 tonnes of food that reached 1,544 families.

  1. Have you come across any measurement challenges?

We recognise that this measurement enables us to better understand the social impacts of what we give by offering charities a more professionalised perspective about managing support from Companies and reporting the impacts generated. However, we have experienced some challenges, because not all charities are entwined with the LBG Framework, which requires further engagement on our side, and also because charities often lack human resources, time and technical skills to obtain the required data.

  1. What types of impact are your programs achieving? 

In 2017, it was possible to measure the impact of investing over 8.1 million euros in support allocated to 144 organisations, which in turn, are estimated to have reached more than 268,000 beneficiaries in all countries where we operate. This amount encompasses donations in-kind and also monetary donations, channelled mainly in the areas of Social Emergency, Education and Social Well-Being support.

Most of the beneficiaries questioned (57%) reported positive impacts on their quality of life. The institutions also confirmed that the support provided by Jerónimo Martins and its Companies had enabled them to invest in improved technology for management systems (56%), both in terms of human resources and information and management technology.

By partnering with stakeholders that understand and work side-by-side with people in sometimes extreme vulnerability every day, we can make a real difference in people’s lives. We hope more companies can endeavour this crusade and join this global challenge to create better, more inclusive societies.

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