Food security is one of the most critical challenges of our time – it is estimated that some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. In South Africa, about 12 million people – 23 percent of the population – are food insecure. That’s a staggering number of people who face challenges around their basic survival every day.
Hunger hampers progress. It’s very difficult for hungry children to learn in a society that is hungry and cannot give its attention to other key areas of economic development and progress. We operate in a complex world where business is as much about sustainable profits and shareholder value as it is about being a catalyst for social development and environmental stewardship. We understand the importance of private sector’s contribution to the alleviation of poverty, especially in the marginalised and underprivileged communities. As a leading food manufacturer, Tiger Brands has selected food security and nutrition as our primary citizenship pillars for sustainable development.
We believe in supporting sustainable economic inclusion for previously disadvantaged beneficiaries, within the frameworks of the National Development Plan (NDP) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Consequently, our Sustainable Socio-Economic Development (SSED) strategy has been crafted to reflect a sustainable, environmentally responsible approach to community development within an overarching focus on food security, nutrition and health.
Along with the continuation of monthly food donations to our beneficiaries, the strategy now has a greater focus on capacity building and social enterprise development (SED), so that beneficiaries leave the programme with the ability to understand nutrition and food preparation, to grow their own food; identify potential projects in their communities for sustainable income generation and to successfully manage their income-generating activities and small businesses – all in an environmentally responsible way. Thus, through SSED, Tiger Brands aims not only to provide immediate relief through food distribution to our beneficiaries but to also assist them in sustaining themselves and the communities they operate in.
Working with our beneficiaries
Between 20th and 23rd February 2017, Tiger Brands hosted all 14 of our NGO partners from across South Africa at the first annual Tiger Brands SED Partner Workshop. The workshop provided a platform for our NGO partners to meet, to share their amazing work in food security and nutrition, and to learn from each other’s’ successes and challenges. The Tiger Brands SSED team- headed by Charissa Jaganath- shared the company’s SSED strategy for the coming years; and along with experts from different fields, engaged the partners in discussions and workshops around enterprise development, nutrition education, eco-friendly cooking, sustainable food gardening, sustainable development and NGO sustainability and financial management. The high degree of energy and commitment generated through the shared learning opportunity was clearly palpable. Our NGOs had this to say:
“I bear witness to the investment and the impact that Tiger Brands is making in poor people’s lives. The material provided at the workshop will help us better our knowledge and empower us with the necessary skills that can only help the organization and ourselves. Thank you!”
– Elaine Paulse, Building the Walls
“Thank you so much for a wonderful three days. It was really good to get to know you all and to hear what direction Tiger Brands CSI is going in. I found the workshop incredibly useful – from the guest speakers to the time getting to know the other beneficiaries and their organisations as well as yourselves.”
– Karen Ross, Love to Give
“On behalf of HospiceWits, I want to thank you all for hosting us at the amazing SSED workshop last week. Tiger Brands is truly committed to real change in our previously disadvantaged communities. At the moment we are all rallying to provide instant relief for the poverty-stricken and the hungry, and falling short of the ideal of reducing dependency and building dignity and self-esteem. Thank you for what you are offering for the future. We are constantly reminded that if we all worked together, we could move mountains. Thank you Tiger Brands team, for moving mountains and for being truly astounding. We salute you!”
– Lyn Wells, HospiceWits