When we drink a bottle of juice, we do not imagine the team working hard behind it. It just feels good. As a brand with a household name in the market, SUMOL+COMPAL Marcas S.A. is always trying to be ahead of trends. That requires a team focused on keeping the legal matters updated. That team is led by Filipa Salazar Leite, head of Legal and Compliance. Filipa has been working for the company for sixteen years. What started as a morning job became a lifetime mission and, after facing one of the biggest challenges of her career, Filipa is optimistic about what is ahead.
How did Sumol+Compal experience this first semester of 2020?
SUMOL+COMPAL lived through this period as I believe many other companies did, at least at an early stage: with surprise and expectation. However, from an early stage, we took a very active attitude, first to ensure the safety of its employees and then, of course, the continuity of its business. Note that we are a company in the agri-food sector (which in addition to beverages produces and markets canned vegetables and tomato derivatives) and that it has taken on a special responsibility throughout this period to continue supplying the market with its products. That is why we have given priority to the safety of our manufacturing facilities by introducing very strict worker protection measures and access restrictions. In addition, we have always believed that it was essential to provide safety to everyone working in the supply chain, from production to logistics and contact with our customers, so that our products could continue to reach our consumers in excellent condition. Today we live this phase with tranquillity.
What legal measures have been taken during this time?
During this period of a pandemic, we followed on a daily basis the enormous number of legal measures approved with specific rules aimed at adapting companies to the new reality. We reacted when appropriate. In addition, we assessed the impact that this situation had on most of the contracts that we had, with regard to the obligations assumed by us or by our counterparties. Finally, the review of actions and the new measures we have adopted in the meantime required legal validation. We wrote many letters, reviewed many contracts, analyzed new initiatives… all this with the maintenance of the usual activity and at the beginning of the year, with the approval of accounts for the previous year and the holding of meetings of the corporate bodies and general meetings of shareholders.
It seems SUMOL+COMPAL had to readapt its strategy to the moment…
The company is, of course, constantly paying attention and adapting. And this moment requires, at least in the short/medium term, some adaptation on our part. But this process of adaptation is constant. For example, we have long since begun to adapt to the new generations, which have different characteristics and ambitions than ours. We have also made a great effort to readapt due to concerns such as Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. We have reinvented ourselves for today and for the future.
Did you have to make cuts?
SUMOL+COMPAL revised its budget and re-evaluated its investments according to the new reality and its priorities. On the other hand, having seen the vast majority of its clients close down due to the declaration of the State of Emergency, it used the lay-off regime. However, it has always compensated its employees, more significantly those on lower incomes, by paying additional compensation in order to maintain their income.
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