To Love Life is to care for it

To Love Life is to care for it

Life. So powerful and yet so fragile. It needs to be constantly fed and protected. In this issue, we pay a tribute to the gift of existence by celebrating some of its uncountable expressions.

The first half of 2020 is already behind us and it has been a very hard reminder of how fragile and precious life is and how we cannot take anything for granted. Ever. The Covid-19 pandemic has taken everyone by surprise and, as you will read in this issue, will most probably be reminded as the first human global reaction to an unexpected event. As it often happens with individuals, hard times like these put the values of organizations to the test. We were no exception. Confronted with a scenario of enormous risk and uncertainty, I believe we have been living up to the value of putting people’s safety and wellbeing at the core of everything we do.

At Jerónimo Martins we have taken this threat very seriously from the very first hour, starting by protecting our own people to the very best of our ability given the fact that our business is one of those that, being in the front line, never really can stop. Aware of the important social role that food businesses play specially in times of severe crisis, our store and logistics personnel have been showing incredible commitment and sense of duty for which I will always be grateful.

We have also been reinforcing our attention to those whose lives are more dependent on us such as our suppliers. You can read some supporting initiatives of ours in this issue. The fight against the virus that has been stealing an important part of our lives for so long has many fronts. Science is key and for that reason we joined the Coronavirus Global Response efforts and also supported the launch of an innovative smart test in Portugal, together with the Portuguese Red Cross Hospital.

I believe we have been living up to the value of putting people’s safety and wellbeing at the core of everything we do.

Empathy and solidarity are the other side of the coin and that is why, for instance, the recently launched Biedronka Foundation has set up a large-scale support action for the nursing and special care homes in Poland, providing these institutions with personal protection materials. Every week, Pingo Doce and Recheio have been donating on-the-go food supplies in more than thirty public hospitals in Portugal as a humble way of showing gratitude towards the public health teams and their extraordinary sense of mission. And in Colombia, Ara has been contributing with donations in around one hundred municipalities.

Along the next pages, we invite you to join us in a tribute to LIFE by celebrating some of its uncountable expressions and manifestations. From unique people who are greater than life – such as the great Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa – to people from whom we can learn how to live a more meaningful life – like Polish Sister Małgorzata Chmielewska; from exploring what science is doing to discover life on other planets or to fight the new coronavirus, to understanding a bit more about the mysteries of human mind and behaviour in limit situations.

Life is so powerful and yet so fragile that it needs to be constantly fed and protected. Somehow like the image on the cover: a structure we immediately associate with a living being, at the same time strong and delicate [in this case, a macro picture of a leaf]. I do hope you have a good time reading this edition of FEED and that somehow you may find, even if only briefly, some inspiration here to go through the next months with a renewed sense of purpose.

Pedro Soares dos Santos,
Chairman of the Jerónimo Martins Group