Promoting Literature and Reading Habits
Promoting and disseminating children’s literature has been one of the Group’s priorities to democratise access to books and promote a critical spirit and creativity among younger generations.
The Pingo Doce and Biedronka Children’s Literature Prizes are aimed at encouraging literary and artistic creativity, rewarding original works, and democratising access to reading at an important stage in the cognitive and emotional development of children.
The winners of each phase of the prize, both in Poland and in Portugal, receive a monetary prize of 25,000 euros, besides being guaranteed the publication and exclusive sale of the winning book in Biedronka and Pingo Doce stores.
Since the prizes were created, the total number of award-winning books sold reaches 130 thousand in Portugal and 315,000 in Poland, being 650,000 euros the accumulated value of the prizes awarded to authors and illustrators. The Biedronka Children’s Literature Prize has been sponsored by the Children’s Ombudsman in Poland since its first edition.
Magdalena Starowicz, winner of the 2020 Piórko – Biedronka’s Children’s Literature Prize – in the “illustration” category, pictured in front of the mural promoting the initiative, painted using eco-friendly paint.
Since 2005, Pingo Doce has launched more than 440 exclusive books and helped over two million books reach the hands of Portuguese families, thus encouraging reading from an early age and contributing to literacy in children and adolescents.
The “Bando do Bosque” (Forest Gang) campaign, launched in 2019 and starring a group of soft toy animals, included a children’s book with the same characters and promoted the importance of reading habits to develop children’s cognitive and social skills. Both the soft toys and the book were given to customers by rebating their purchases. In 2020, the launch of the book “Bando do Bosque – Há Festa na Clareira” (Forest Gang – There’s a party in the glade”) was supported by the Portuguese National Reading Plan. Part of the proceeds went the “Literacy for Forest Preservation” project, which promotes educational initiatives spearheaded by Liga para a Protecção da Natureza (Portuguese Nature Protection League).
To raise awareness among young people of the importance of preserving the oceans and marine life, Pingo Doce launched the “Bando do Mar” (Ocean Gang) campaign, which includes a children’s book created with the technical-scientific contribution of Oceanário de Lisboa (Lisbon Oceanarium). For every book sold, 0.50 euros go to education and awareness initiatives on marine litter.
The “Sweeties Gang” campaign, launched by Biedronka in 2019 aimed at encouraging daily reading habits and environmental protection behaviour, has reached Polish primary schools through the “Szkolne Przygody Gangu Słodziaków” (The Sweeties Gang’s School Adventures) competition.
In 2020, on World Environment Day, Biedronka launched the book entitled “Eko Słodziaki” (The Eco-Friendly Sweeties Gang). By purchasing the book on that day, customers financially supported Czysta Polska (Clean Poland Association), the organiser of the “Czyste Tatry” (Clean Tatra Mountains) initiative.
In 2020, Biedronka launched the Gang Fajniakow (The Cool Gang) campaign, focusing on environmental protection. The main character, Fajniaki, teaches children to care for the environment and explore nature, through a book available in Biedronka stores and a free mobile app.
Promoting Social Inclusion and Entrepreneurship
With the goal of fostering social entrepreneurship and the financial sustainability of institutions in the third sector, Pingo Doce promotes the sale of products developed by institutions that are engaged in fighting social exclusion in Portuguese society.
Since 2011, the company has actively supported CEERDL – Centro de Educação Especial Rainha Dona Leonor, a cooperative that provides services to improve the quality of life to 540 people with a disability or mental illness. Pingo Doce buys about 50 thousand mono-lily bouquets from CEERDL every year, which accounts for around 22% of CEERDL’s flower farming revenue. The successful partnership has led to increased production which, in turn, helped improve the institution’s financial results, leading to the betterment of facilities and improved working conditions, and the expansion of the team, giving jobs to 13 disabled people and providing them access to the job market.
Launched in 2013, support for the “Cogumelo Solidário” (Generous Mushroom) project, led by AANP – Associação dos Albergues Nocturnos do Porto (Porto Night Shelters Association), takes the form of the sale of organic shitake mushrooms. This project focuses on contributing towards the financial sustainability of the services provided by this entity to people who are homeless, including meals and basic personal care products.
Launched in 2018 in the Lisbon region and extended to Pingo Doce stores in other parts of Portugal in 2019, the “Mercado Social” (Social Market) project aims at supporting third sector institutions that produce food. Pingo Doce provides them with a dedicated in-store space for selling their products, with all proceeds going to those institutions.
Under a partnership established in 2011, Biedronka is, since 2018, the main sponsor of the Nadzieja Na Mundial (Hope for the World Cup) Association, which works to support the development of children in institutions, helping them to socialise through sport.
This organisation promotes football tournaments for children and young people from Poland, Europe and the rest of the world in different competitions. Besides providing financial support to cover the logistics associated with the Polish and European (or world, depending on the year) championships, Biedronka offers beverages and snacks to the children participating in the various tournaments, as well as sports and electronic equipment. The best player of the championship receives the Biedronka Hope prize.