Andreea, Head of marketing, communications and PR
Following a Baccalauréat in Bucharest, Andreea began studying economics in... Bordeaux. She then returned to Romania, did a master’s degree, followed by an MBA. She then spent a number of years working for an import company. In 2000, she applied for a job when Carrefour first started operating in Romania. "I sent in my CV ten minutes before the deadline, and was not particularly hopeful”. She's been doing the job since 2000 and currently has a large number of responsibilities in her capacity as Head of Marketing, Communication, PR and Solidarity, sales dynamics & pricing.
Right from the outset, aid initiatives have been incorporated into the process of rolling Carrefour out in Romania. "The needs were tremendous and Carrefour was a forerunner in securing the commitment of companies." Currently, the group mainly focuses its efforts on three categories of people: children, the homeless and elderly people living alone. One such example is Ovidio Ro – a programme designed to encourage children living in rural areas to go to school: families whose children attend school on a regular basis receive food aid in the form of purchase coupons. Having already helped 1 500 children, this programme – which has received €600,000 from Carrefour and its Foundation – is going to be extended by the Romanian government to include the whole country. This way, vulnerable children are able to go to school and end up on a path that will lead them to success in life, keeping them away from delinquency and giving them an opportunity for a better life!
"We are in contact with the partner associations every week". And although the head office is the driving force behind such operations, the stores themselves also organise aid initiatives. Last May, for example, a "Charity Shopping Race" was held to raise money for United Way Romania. 57 volunteers and employees, split into teams of 4, had to fill their shopping trolleys with basic essentials. The charity race raised €13,000 worth of products at just one hypermarket in the north of Romania.
In addition to meetings with partners (the Red Cross for food banks, UNICEF, etc.), supporting and monitoring projects takes up a significant part of the working day. And there is always the unexpected. Indeed, Carrefour Romania's aid initiatives are well-known and "when there is an emergency (floods, etc.), people call upon us to get us to send in basic essentials. We have a hypermarket right next to the airport. Often, press helicopters on the way to affected regions take foodstuffs with them that have been donated by Carrefour. Everything can be ready in just one hour".
This type of event typifies Andreea’s role: "Romania has many links with France: our civil code is based on yours. Carrefour is a leader in its sector and I think it is up to us to lead by example on issues such as aid". The desire to do this can be seen in initiatives right across the company, and even at the checkouts in stores: there has been a programme in place for the past seven years alongside the Red Cross whereby customers can donate non-perishable foodstuffs throughout the year. Carrefour Romania employees also play a part in these initiatives (appeals for toy donations at Christmas for children from disadvantaged families, etc.).
Andreea does not just support these associations and deal with emergency situations: she also tackles problems upstream. "Floods are a recurring problem, mainly due to the rampant deforestation blighting our country. We have therefore joined forces with the WWF and launched a programme to protect 20,000 hectares of virgin forest".
And with the Ateliers Sans Frontières charity (Workshops without Borders), we have implemented an upcycling initiative. The charity recovers and recycles bio-waste as part of its social reintegration project (bags are made from advertising banners, compost is made from unsold fruit and vegetables… and then transformed into fertiliser). These products are then sold in stores and/or for various occasions.