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Luís Ferrão: Initiative - the problem isn´t getting to the top, it´s staying there


When I was invited to write a short testimony about the Amorim’s spirit of Initiative, I was, of course both flattered and proud.

To talk about the spirit of initiative when we belong to a group that has such a strong organisational dynamic is both an easy and complex task.

While other people may consider certain things to be noteworthy in relation to the spirit of initiative, at Amorim, we consider that we can always do better, due to our incessant desire to improve, to embrace new ventures, to be daring.

At Amorim, having a spirit of initiative isn’t linked to trying to benchmark with others or follow passing fashions and trends. Initiative is a core element of our DNA and guides our way of being in all dimensions - both personal and organisational!

We can find examples of Amorim’s spirit of initiative in all areas of our organisation, which confronts us with new challenges and new solutions every day. Our undisputed status as world leader of the cork sector is the result of our proactive attitude, daring and commitment — involving the dedication of many people over several generations!

As we all know, the problem isn’t getting to the top, it's staying there.

To remain at the top, we must inculcate this value in every member of our Amorim family. A family that has been renewing itself and growing over the past 150 years and that continues, as in 1870, as an initiator, innovator and pioneer, with a visionary spirit.

Reaching the summit could have fostered a certain carelessness and conservative approach to the business, primarily concerned with preserving the status quo, instead of a continuous desire to achieve more and better as an organisation.

But, fortunately, what I have seen over the past 2 years that I have been with this family, is an increasing desire to surpass ourselves as a team, to always remain one step ahead of the others, to take risks when others fear, to move forward when others hesitate , to reinvent ourselves at every moment. We always do so with a clear focus on ensuring that Amorim progressively reinforces its solidity and leadership, and increasingly returns to society the benefits achieved through this spirit of initiative.

The global implementation of a new ERP (SAP), the way that we have been tackling the most significant impacts of the pandemic, both for the business and the lives of our more than 4,400 employees, with measures that we implemented well before others or before the recommendations issued by the authorities (what better example of our spirit of initiative), the commitment to a business aspect that is increasingly based on a circular economy concept, the successive studies that prove the negative carbon balance of our products, or the presence of Amorim as the only company Portuguese in the 50 Sustainability and Climate Leaders campaign all say a great deal about our status as pioneers and leaders.

Many will be able to attribute all of the above to luck. But luck, as the saying goes, takes a lot of hard work. Seneca once said: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity...

At Amorim, we don’t wait for opportunities. We create them. And we are thoughtful in our preparation.

In this manner, with this spirit of initiative, we have been shaping the world over the past 150 years and aim to continue to shape it for many more…