JERÓNIMO MARTINS – BUILDING THE FUTURE SINCE 1792
WITH OVER 3,400 STORES AND 13.7 BILLION EUROS IN SALES IN 2015, AS A LISBON-BASED FOOD RETAILER WITH OPERATIONS IN PORTUGAL, POLAND AND COLOMBIA WE ARE COMMITTED TO THE SUSTAINABLE GROWTH OF OUR BUSINESSES.
In 2016, Jerónimo Martins celebrates its 224th anniversary. With over two centuries of expertise in the food business, sustainability has a deep meaning for the Company as it is the expression of a spirit of entrepreneurship and economic, social and environmental responsibility – one that is embedded in the Group’s DNA from the very beginning.
Established in 1792 in Lisbon in the historical and commercial Chiado barrio, the Jerónimo Martins small shop soon gained fame for its exquisite food products, later becoming the Portuguese royal family’s official supplier.
By the end of the 1950’s, the Dos Santos’ family-owned Jerónimo Martins Company diversified the business by investing in manufacturing through a partnership with Unilever. It was during the 1980’s and 1990’s that the Group went through yet another turning point: a new focus on Modern Distribution.
That’s when Pingo Doce supermarket chain was born, being shortly followed by the acquisition of the Recheio cash-and-carry network in Portugal. In 1995, we took the first steps to expand internationally with the launch of the soft-discount Biedronka stores in Poland. It was also the time to democratize the access to products through our banners’ private brands.
Recently, we have expanded to Colombia where our Ara chain operates more than 150 neighbourhood stores.
PASSIONATE FOR FOOD
Alongside our strategy to maximize scale economies and expand operations, we follow a series of policies that range from quality and safety requirements to environmental and social concerns.
Nearly 4.5 million clients visit our stores daily and private brands account for a significant part of their food baskets, a fact that strengthens our commitment to selling healthy food as a way of fighting obesity and other related diseases.
That’s why we keep on improving our products’ formulas. As a result, in the last five years we prevented 2,300 tons of sugar, 400 tons of fat and 160 tons of salt from entering the market.
Fresh products are another of our differentiating factors valued by customers. It all starts at a local level.
We work side-by-side with over 80% of local suppliers to offer the freshest fruit and vegetables to our clients and we also bring traditional varieties to the mainstream market while promoting sustainable production practices.
The Polish malinowe tomato or harnas garlic are examples of this focus, as well as innovation in perishables like the “frog skin” melon or the “Aberdeen Angus” beef feeding formula, both developed with Lisbon universities.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS UNDER OUR RADAR
Logistics are a significant part of distribution as it represents over 165 million kilometres in truck trips. As carbon emissions are critical to climate change, we are addressing them through efficiency programs. Backhauling is one of these cases in which we maximize route deliveries and cargo – in the last 5 years we saved around 31 million kilometres in routes that prevented the emission of 28,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Supporting surrounding communities is one of the keystones to promote social cohesion. With thousands of stores spread-out in Portugal, Poland and Colombia, partnering with hundreds of local charities is the path we chose to fight hunger and poverty.
In 2015 alone, we invested 17.4 million euros in the communities and reached an estimated half a million people in need.
Nearly 90,000 people work at Jerónimo Martins which implies a broadened responsibility. Apart from training, health and safety focus and compensation schemes, many social programs are a helping-hand in the employees’ lives – 17.4 million euros were invested in free medical screenings and vaccinations, dentist treatments and school support that cover books and material for employees’ children, among others.
Jerónimo Martins has already crossed three centuries of History, driven by a vocation to grow. A long experience of navigation, with winds sometimes for, sometimes against, but in which what always prevailed was the will to generate wealth while respecting the planet’s resources and people.