The German retailer Kaufland believes that any business should entail social responsibility. The company invests in the development of local economy through its initiatives to support local producers. Also, following strong principles of social and environmental responsibility, the retailer has a tradition to support the development of local communities, through numerous long-term social responsibility projects.
‘Ever since our entering the Romanian market in 2005, the collaboration with local producers was a priority for us. We were among the first few retailers to feature over 50% Romanian products in our portfolio’, states Valer Hancaș, Corporate Affairs & Communications Manager at Kaufland Romania.
Small producers for a big cause
In order to support local producers, together with Agrostar Federation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Kaufland developed a project called “My Country – The Co-operative” (Țara Mea), involving partnerships with small farmers supplying local and traditional produce, who would otherwise find it difficult to sell their harvest. These products also feature a special in-store label to encourage customers to buy locally. Moreover, the retailer hosts in its parking lot in different stores all over the country a series of fairs dedicated to small and medium local producers and farmers, offering them a space and all necessary logistics to sell their traditional specialties free of charge.
‘We respect our customers, adapt to their needs and pay attention to the freshness and quality of the products we offer. Placing people in the center of our business is a solid principle we follow. We listen to them, get modernized and launch innovations to help them have a great shopping experience, such as the most recently launched – Kaufland Scan & Pay mobile application which helps our customers save a lot of time at shopping”, states Valer Hancaș.
Social and environmental projects
Kaufland’s social responsibility projects are a key component of their business development strategy. They support social, educational and environmental projects with major impact in their respective communities, with long term strategic partnerships with NGOs such as ‘Casa Sperantei’ HOSPICE Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and Let’s Do It, Romania!
‘Social and environment responsibility is part of the DNA of our company, meaning that even our employees are actively involved in the CSR projects we support. Together, we ran for social causes, we planted trees, we cleaned the Vacaresti Delta and we built homes for vulnerable families’, adds Valer Hancaș.
This year, the retailer pioneered two significant environmental projects. Together with Renovatio, they launched the first public network of electric vehicle charging stations, which is free of charge and stretches between Arad and Constanta. Earlier this month, together with I’Velo they created the first automatized bike-sharing service in the country.
The first Kaufland store opened in Germany in 1930, with the company expanding internationally since 1998. At present, Kaufland operates its business in seven European countries and has opened 110 stores in Romania up to now.