While different measures for preventing the spread and mitigating the consequences of the virus were being introduced across all continents, Delhaize Serbia realized that responsibility and solidarity were additional tasks for the company and for every individual
The COVID-19 pandemic, which marked the period behind us, led to a change both in habits and in the established routines, as well as in the business environment on the global market. It showed us new organizational models that needed to change in a short time, and the importance of solidarity. How Delhaize Serbia recognized the importance of unity and how it utilized its corporate responsibility to respond to the challenges caused by the pandemic was explained by Milana Jević Gledović, Vice President of Legal Affairs and Asset Protection at Delhaize Serbia.
At a time when the whole world was facing the pandemic, it was important to react on time and adapt lives and operations to the new normal. While different measures for preventing the spread and mitigating the consequences of the virus were being introduced across all continents, Delhaize Serbia realized that responsibility and solidarity were additional tasks for the company and for every individual.
– In addition to the many challenges we faced as a retail chain, we knew how important it was to show care for our associates and collective solidarity. The safety and health of our colleagues in stores and in the Distribution Centre were imperative for us. It was very important for us to provide our colleagues with maximum protection measures, but also to ensure the safe supply of groceries to our customers in stores all the while respecting and applying all the measures.
Our corporate donation started with donation to the Republic Fund for Health Insurance and the funds donated to them were allocated for what was the most needed at that time – medical equipment to combat the COVID-19 virus. As a company, we also provided support on a local level, as well as through procurement of medical equipment which will be available to all our fellow citizens – says Milana Jević Gledović.
The donations of this retail chain have also reached the Association of Parents of Children with Malignant Diseases “Zvončica”, as well the hospital in Kikinda. Additionally, Delhaize Serbia helped numerous families who felt the impact of the COVID-19 virus by providing donations in kind. The company was also a part of the WakeUpCall humanitarian campaign for assisting individuals affected by the pandemic.
Ahold Delhaize also helped its community globally, investing more than EUR 170 million into aid and assistance for fighting the COVID-19 virus in all the countries in which it operates. These funds were allocated for occupational health and safety measures, improving employee benefits and supporting local communities through donations.
As part of Ahold Delhaize, thanks to the experiences of its colleagues in other countries, Delhaize Serbia locally prepared different action scenarios and organizational models up front, so as a company, it prepared preventively even before the declaration of the state of emergency in the country.
– The plans of the crisis centre are never the same as the reality, but we saw that good organization yielded results after all. We have been successfully carrying out all processes at all times, from delivering goods to distribution, with maximum recommended healthcare and safety measures – says Jević Gledović.
During the state of emergency, Maxi, Tempo and Shop&Go stores were always available to customers, in accordance with the measures adopted, which is why the company is proud of all its colleagues who provided everyday support to our fellow citizens. In addition to the associates in stores responding to the increased demand of the customers, a warm, neighbourly approach is what made it unforgettable.
– During the days of uncertainty, our colleagues showed professionalism and dedication. We are very grateful to our colleagues for their enthusiasm, effort and courage demonstrated in the period which will remain a great experience, which taught all of us something. That is why we do not miss the opportunities to say that our colleagues are heroes here at the company.
The readiness to provide support and a well-organized system were our company’s response to the situation, and I would say that it is also a responsible approach to business and professionalism at all levels, Jević Gledović pointed out.