Letter from the Chairman
Several reasons make 2019 a landmark year for EROSKI.
One of them is undoubtedly the celebration of our 50th anniversary. In addition, we have closed a good refinancing agreement and renovated a high percentage of our network of stores to the “with you” model. It has also been a year of notable progress in projects related to health and sustainability, such as the increasing implementation of Nutri-Score advanced nutritional labelling – an area in which we are pioneers among distributors in Spain – as well as providing our customers with alternatives to traditional plastic bags and more sustainable alternative packaging. Likewise, the approval of the new Law on Cooperatives provides us with a more specific regulatory framework that enables us to compete and develop on an equal footing with other organisations with different legal structures.
The merger of seven small consumer cooperatives back in 1969 was the seed of this group which, after half a century of operation, has become one of the main distributors in Spain. Fifty years of a business project based on people and cooperation. Along this path, we at EROSKI have remained very close to consumers, evolving at the same time as society and adapting to their needs and consumption habits. And we have done so while staying true to our core purpose and cooperative nature. Contributing to improving the quality of life and having a positive influence on sustainable development are two of the historic commitments that EROSKI made to consumers and society from the start, and today they continue to be defining characteristics which have structured our evolution over time as a consumer organisation and a very active driving force in social responsibility.
We face the challenges and trends posed by today’s consumer: multi-channel sales, convenience shopping, the needs of senior citizens, health care, experiential shopping, and the growth of the “green” and “local” markets. This hyper-communicated society demands rapid changes (at a rate never seen before) from companies in all kinds of sectors, from institutions…, from everyone. Food does not escape this trend: we associate it with all the good and all the evil that happens to us: health, disease, pollution (plastics in the seas, palm oil, deforestation, the end of resources…). And the shop is the place where all those worries crystallize, becoming visible. There is only one way to deal with this situation: take on the change, accept the challenge and build the solutions. And we’re not going to hide. We declare ourselves co-responsible and assume our share of the responsibility to act accordingly. We want to change our performance as a distribution company and we also want to influence our Client Partners to change theirs through information and training. It is up to EROSKI to act for social transformation with our co-operative project, seeking sustainable welfare and, to this end, we must focus our efforts more on action than on justification.
EROSKI today is a clear result of work with a great capacity to contribute to society. After a remarkable 2019 in which we have celebrated half a century of existence, we will redouble our efforts to offer our Client Partners and consumers ever more options to make their purchases and consumption healthier and more sustainable from a social and environmental point of view. We will also focus on technological development, which will allow us innovative developments as diverse as a generation of much more energy efficient stores, tools that allow personalised offers for customers or commercial models of sections that promote a personal and direct relationship with the brand. We will work to offer a wide range of channels and formats from which consumers can make their purchases. We have already travelled a long way along this path, but there is still a great deal to do, and we want to accelerate our efforts in this direction, driven by the collective internal strength that has enabled us to get this far and which will surely enable us to earn our place in the future by responding to all that society expects and deserves from EROSKI.
I encourage you to read this annual report to learn more about our performance in 2019 and our actions derived from our commitment to sustainable development, which we endorsed in 2002 with our adhesion to the Global Compact and which we renew annually, in line with our mission and with our determined aim to contribute significantly to the achievement of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We hope you find our report interesting and inspiring.
Chairman of the EROSKI Group