Tiszabura, a town in Central Hungary, is known as one of the country’s poorest settlements. Through various initiatives, the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta supports the town’s residents in all aspects of life. It runs a school, a kindergarten, and a social service office in the settlement.
The charity also launched several employment-creating businesses three years ago, including a carpenter’s workshop and a sewing studio. At these workshops, participants learn a profession and gain qualifications. From 2018 onwards, participants have been creating their own products, including canvas shopping bags, for SPAR stores nationwide.
“We cannot yet evaluate the real effects of the pandemic. However, the food industry and retail sector will play a decisive role in rebuilding the economy. SPAR Hungary plays an important role in this process”, said Márk Maczelka, Head of Communications at SPAR Hungary.
“At the same time, SPAR strives to create crisis-resistant, local jobs. When creating employment opportunities, as many people as possible, including disabled or socially deprived people, should be involved. It is crucial in these times to find market-based solutions within our country”, he added.
SPAR Hungary has become a major purchaser of the products created at the various workshops in Tiszabura, as well as in the villages of Páty and Gyulaj. These products include jams, chutneys, syrups, pickles, and teas.
The various workshops provide a stable income for disabled and socially deprived people. These initiatives are more than a charitable activity; they are self-sufficient and competitive businesses.
“In its employment programmes, the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta consistently strives to create real value for workers. Customers should not buy our products because disabled or disadvantaged people produced them, but because they are of high quality”, said Tamás Romhányi, Head of Communications of the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta.
Source: SPAR Hungary
The first SPAR Supermarket opened in Hungary in 1992, following the acquisition by ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) of a majority stake in General Kereskedelmi Rt. Since its launch, SPAR Hungary has been actively involved in developing the country’s retail industry.
The move to license independent retailers to operate the SPAR Brand has proven successful for Hungary, with new stores meeting the needs of a larger number of shoppers. The retailers benefit from becoming part of the SPAR organisation with access to own brand products, operating systems, and the brand, whilst consumers enjoy the increased number of store locations.