Today was an amazing tour of two companies and a conference call to a third. The companies were Cemex (the world's third largest cement company), Lala (Mexico's largest dairy producer) and Sonaria (Mexico's largest supermarket chain).
I was not ready for the level of appreciation and support these people had for Dreamaid and was shocked to come away from the meetings with possible projects for the Dreamaid Charity and Dreamaid from all three of the companies.
Cemex has 14 coordinators liaising with around 160 projects within Mexico on social responsibility. The person I met there 'loved' Dreamaid and was very keen to progress towards a pilot project perhaps in our next location, Merida. We will be liasing with Cemex in the coming weeks to progress this and to see if we can expand to the other locations in which they support the people of Mexico. We talked of the efficiencies we can derive by using their infrastructure and our access to market. The potential for improving the lives of the people in their operating areas is great and we are determined to make their dreams come true.
Lala have already suggested they will attend our Press Conference in Mexico City next week and have tentatively committed to working with us within the Lala Foundation which is their vehicle for Corporate Social Responsibility. Here we talked of a specific opportunity in the desert area of Mexico where people are selling natural wax to a trader who then sells it for a 500% profit. If these people can access the market directly it could help transform their lives. We are planning how to make this happen.
Soriana had a group of artisans from Oaxaca in their store downstairs selling artisan products as part of a CSR project to help people from the poorer regions. However, this is an expensive way for the artisans to sell as it involves a lot of time away from home, travel and the carriage of goods that may or may not sell. We discussed the potential ways forward which could include setting up internet access within kiosks of regional stores, the support of local staff in consulting with the artisans to help them produce better and more profitable products and the possible setting up of stand alone Dreamaid Charity internet cafe's where artisans could sell their products online.
With all three companies we also laid the door open to other ways forward yet to be explored but agreed that a long term approach was necessary and required commitment on both sides.
All in all a very productive day. Tomorrow I fly south to meet my temporarily abandoned youngsters in Merida and we will be exploring the area of the Yukatan peninsula and one of the seven wonders of the world. Watch this space for more news!
Dreams can come true!