Foodbank recognises CHEP for Outstanding Industry Contribution

October 11, 2012

Foodbank Australia last night recognised the exceptional contribution of four companies in tackling the growing issue of food insecurity in Australia.

Kraft Foods, CHEP, HJ Heinz and Virgin Australia were the diverse group of companies which received Foodbank Awards at the Australian Food and Grocery Council's (AFGC) Industry Leaders Forum Dinner held at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

On announcing the Award recipients, Enzo Allara, Chairman of Foodbank Australia said, "Motivated by the desire to achieve our vision of ending hunger in Australia, we ask much of our food and grocery industry partners and they never fail to respond. We will keep pushing but it is also important to pause and take the time to celebrate some of the outstanding individual contributions that make our work possible."

"It's always a difficult decision to single out recipients in the face of the generosity of the industry as a whole and this year was no exception. That said I can confidently say that the companies being acknowledged this year truly exemplify the attributes of a Foodbank friend."

AFGC CEO, Mr Gary Dawson said the AFGC was proud to sponsor the Foodbank Awards as part of its annual Industry Leaders Forum Dinner, to mark the achievements of the food and grocery sector in giving practical help to those in need.

"The food sector is committed to minimising food waste and helping the hungry by donating large volumes of food and groceries to Foodbank Australia," Mr Dawson said.

This year Foodbank's Leadership Award was presented to Kraft Foods for, Enzo announced: "the truly integrated approach it takes to its Foodbank relationship which spans multiple programs and all areas of the organisation". Examples included the donation of 100,000 packets of Mac & Cheese, 1.5 million Cadbury Easter Eggs as well as financial support and Vegemite for School Breakfast Programs.

On the communications front, Kraft Foods provided funding and expertise for Foodbank's new Community Service Announcements, support for Foodbank Victoria's Fun Run and were one of the partners in last year's World Food Day's 'Bridge the Hunger Divide' campaign. On top of this Kraft Foods has an ongoing commitment to volunteering including last year making crackers for Foodbank Christmas hampers.

On receiving the Leadership Award, Darren O'Brien, Managing Director - Grocery at Kraft Foods, said: "We're absolutely delighted to have the efforts of our business and our employees recognised by Foodbank through this award tonight.

We know that doing good for the community is also good for business, and our employees know how easy it is to make a positive impact on other people's lives.

So to bring together our passion and resources and work with Foodbank, we know that we can really make a difference."

The Collaboration Award was presented to CHEP for being a pivotal partner in the proactive provision of the staple foods essential to providing balanced meals on a daily basis.

"CHEP is the unsung hero of Foodbank's Collaborative Supply program. Quite simply, without CHEP, Foodbank would be unable to move the food it manufactures to where it's needed. This is also true of much of our rescued products," said Enzo.

CHEP's role goes beyond pallets, crates and bins to include valuable help and advice on aspects of transport and logistics. CHEP is a member of the Foodbank Fresh Produce Industry Group which will be working to increase the volume of fresh fruit and vegetable donations.

On receiving the Collaboration Award, Phillip Austin, President of CHEP Australia & New Zealand, said: "Working with Foodbank is a great fit because we look for community partners that are like us - practical in their approach to making a difference by pragmatically tackling the job that needs to be done. Foodbank provides us with the opportunity to use the fundamentals of our business doing something that really connects with our people and enables them to leverage their expertise."

Foodbank's Innovation Award went to HJ Heinz who is a regular provider of surplus and last year agreed to participate, for the second time, in the Collaborative Supply Program by producing 62,000 cans of Hamper Corned Beef. "What they didn't know was that, just days before the scheduled production date, the Heinz Wagga Wagga factory would be hit by floods. They would have been forgiven for delaying or cancelling the production, but instead staff showed tenacity and creativity in ensuring that the run went ahead," Enzo said.

On receiving the Innovation Award, Jessica Ramsden, Corporate Affairs Manager, said: "The floods served to remind staff of the strength of the Wagga community in helping each other during difficult times. The Heinz Wagga team has always been active in fundraising to support the local community, so it went without saying that they would do what was necessary to follow through on the commitment to Foodbank."

Finally the Partnership Award was presented to Virgin Australia. "Foodbank is a truly national operation with food coming from every corner of the country - be it from primary producers, manufacturers or retailers - and then going to wherever it is needed. Our business is driven by strong relationships and these are best developed face to face. With Virgin Australia's help we are able to do that. In addition, every dollar we save on airfares means two extra meals we are able to provide to people who need them," Enzo said.

Virgin Australia Group Executive of Corporate Communications, Danielle Keighery, said the airline was delighted to accept the Partnership Award.  "The Foodbank network provides vital assistance to many welfare groups and Virgin Australia is a proud partner. Virgin Australia has been supporting Foodbank since 2010 with domestic flights, advertisements on inflight entertainment and raising the organisation's great work through the on-board magazine, Voyeur," she said.