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Famous Brands’ Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Programme is a deliberate, focused, coherent and progressive programme that is professionally managed, guided by a common policy framework and is seen as strategic to the business. All CSI activities are coordinated by the Transformation Office and Social and Ethics Committee.
CSI Programme’s Strategic Objectives
To achieve our CSI goals, our policy and programmes are aimed at:
- focusing on initiatives which enjoy broad-based stakeholders’ support while avoiding handout tendencies which prove unsustainable;
- ensuring that communities and beneficiaries of the programmes are actively consulted in the process of project selection, implementation and evaluation;
- quantifying the costs and benefits of the programmes selected and evaluating them in terms of their ability to contribute to capacity building, improving the quality of life and ensuring sustainable development;
- defining the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and projects/programme beneficiaries, with specific emphasis on financial controls and corporate governance compliance;
- building community awareness and recognition of the role played by Famous Brands in developing communities through appropriate and transparent outreach initiatives;
- contributing to the socio-economic upliftment of primarily historically disadvantaged communities; and
- to build and improve relationships with the company’s existing and potential stakeholders through forming mutually beneficial partnerships.
Corporate social investment initiatives
Our biggest CSI initiatives are driven by our Leading brands. These brands’ promotional activities elevate the profiles of recipient charities and funding campaigns and the funds raised allow beneficiaries to expand their activities.
Sport is a big focus for all our Leading brands. These brands support the FNB Varsity Cup (rugby for 2020). Sponsorships provide funding to talented student athletes after they leave school and before turning professional, boosting the development of rising sporting stars in SA.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought all Varsity Sports to a halt. Famous Brands donated R8 million to support rugby grassroots development in 2020.
COVID-19 food donation
Our Manufacturing division provided essential food donations to the value of R7.8 million to SA Harvest, a non-profit organisation. SA Harvest was founded to address food security as one of the most urgent crises facing SA today. Even before COVID-19, millions of South Africans had inadequate access to nutritious food, and this crisis was exacerbated by the pandemic. COVID-19 and the resultant lockdowns have caused mass unemployment, which has dramatically increased food insecurity. SA Harvest delivers to more than 40 vetted beneficiaries who, combined, are responsible for feeding approximately 6 000 people per day.
Cupcakes of Hope
Mugg & Bean has supported Cupcakes of Hope since 2012. The aim of this organisation is to raise awareness for the early detection of cancer, which can save children’s lives. In FY2021, we significantly revised our planned CSI activities due to trading restrictions and financial constraints. In September 2020, we hosted a scaled-down donation drive and invited customers to donate on our online portal. We firmly support the work Cupcakes of Hope does to assist families with cancer-affected children and are evolving our activity with their input and involvement.
Botswana’s CSI activities
Debonairs Pizza’s Doughnation initiative was started in 2012 and is a daily community project that encourages Debonairs Pizza restaurants to use the excess pizza dough to make flat breads. The flat breads are then donated to charities in local communities. In 2020, the Doughnation initiative was enhanced in Botswana with each Debonairs Pizza restaurant supporting a local charity from their community on a monthly basis.
Famous Brands Canteen – Tembisa Feeding Scheme
Tembisa Child Welfare was established in 1986 to provide for abandoned, abused and neglected children and HIV/AIDS infected orphans. Ideally, the organisation aims to place children with foster or adoptive families. Where this is not possible, children are placed in two children’s homes. The organisation also creates local employment through projects such as a sewing school, a bakery, food gardening and soap recycling. The Famous Brands Head Office Canteen supports the organisation through a daily feeding scheme for 80 children and staff members.
Steers Rounda and Shout initiative
Food insecurity has long been an issue in South Africa, with 11% of the population (6.5 million people) suffering from hunger in 2019, according to Statistics South Africa. A 2016 survey by the South African Book Council found that six out of ten South Africans older than 16 years lived in households without a single book present.
Steers developed Rounda as a CSI initiative to both alleviate hunger and promote reading. The initiative, which runs both in-store and online, allows customers to donate an additional R1 with the purchase of any Steers product.
Rounda has fed thousands of hungry stomachs and enabled the building of five Shout libraries across South Africa. These libraries provide access to books for many South Africans who would not otherwise enjoy the benefits of reading.
Steers, with the support of staff and franchise partners, raised R940 329 in FY2021 to donate to the Shout Foundation, for building libraries, and to the Nikela Trust, for running several feeding schemes.