During October and November, staff from Axereal Group and our subsidiaries have been taking up challenges for charity. These colleagues are living out the group’s values, which dovetail perfectly with the initiatives in question.
We talked to Sophie Tuja, Group human resources and communications director, about the events.
What is Axereal’s stance regarding support for charities?
Sophie Tuja – The fact that we are a cooperative group prompts us to pool our efforts to aid major causes, often through actions at local level. Because our business operates through locations in many different areas, giving back to the people in those localities is important to us. In France, and internationally too, we try to support projects in fields like food poverty, an obvious choice for us as a major food producer, protecting the planet, health – a topic that affects us personally, and that matters to our staff – and education, in particular in the ‘developing’ countries, as they are known, where we operate.
Since the autumn, you have been focusing staff’s attention on cancer charities. Why that choice?
Sophie Tuja – Choosing a cause to support is always a very difficult, sensitive decision, because there are so many worthy charities and we unfortunately cannot help as many of them as we would like to. Wherever we can, we select initiatives with the potential to involve as many colleagues as possible, because team spirit is a key value in a cooperative group. We have been participating in Octobre Rose (Pink October) for several years. Colleagues enjoy getting involved and we encourage the sportier members of our head office staff to enter a team in the race organised in Olivet. It’s a great way to have fun and fight breast cancer at the same time. For the first time this year, we have also been championing another initiative, to prevent men’s cancers and support research into them. Several staff members were already involved with this cause on a personal level. So in November, the group became part of the worldwide Movember movement. The men proudly grew moustaches to show their commitment to the cause. And because every cloud has a silver lining, our female staff pressed their masks into service. They drew moustaches on them to collect even more money! In addition to these group-wide projects, our teams are also regularly involved in local events. Axereal Elevage, for example, has been enthusiastically supporting the Téléthon for many years.
This year’s contribution was donated to Synchronie, the Orléans hospital endowment fund
Sophie Tuja – Yes, we were delighted to donate a sum equivalent to our contribution to Octobre Rose to the Orléans hospital endowment fund in recognition of our moustache-wearing colleagues! For us, choosing a local beneficiary, one that really means something to the colleagues involved, seemed like a natural decision.