Supporting Local Communities
We seek to enrich our local communities in a variety of ways. In addition to creating jobs within our own operations, we support hundreds of thousands of livelihoods through our procurement choice. We aim to buy local and to champion social enterprises.
In the last year, our continued investment has been important for many food producers and small businesses. We also look for ways to use our skills and resources to support the local community: donating food, raising money for charities, and supporting groups who are driving positive change.
Choosing small, local and diverse suppliers
We believe in the power of purpose-driven procurement. By sourcing locally, we not only maximise the nutritional value of the food we serve (produce begins to lose nutrients within 24 hours of being harvested), but we also reduce food miles travelled and enhance our ability to trace the ethical provenance and supply chain integrity of ingredients.
As a food business, one of the most powerful ways that we can support our local communities is by providing meals. All around the world, we have formed partnerships with local projects, charities and organisations which pass on our surplus unsold food to the people who need it. In 2022, we donated circa 1.3 million meals to local communities across some of our largest markets.
We partner with a wide range of organisations that support people in our local communities. Some examples include:
- In the UK, our procurement team have launched ‘Pitch Social’. Through this event, we celebrate the diversity within our supplier base and recognise businesses with a high social and environmental agenda. Local, SME and social enterprise suppliers are invited to meet with our business leaders, operators, and clients to learn more about their business, their products and their purpose
- In the US, our Foodbuy team have created a programme to accelerate the growth of Women and Minority-Owned Enterprises. Suppliers selected to participate in our Accelerator Programme are assigned a dedicated Foodbuy mentor, who serves as their primary point of contact throughout the 12-month programme. During the first three months, suppliers are supported in creating development and activation plans, followed by nine months of execution and progress tracking
- Helping job seekers build skills and confidence to become job ready in a supportive, practical environment through our partnership with BusyBeans in Australia
- Funding over 250 clean drinking water projects around the world through our partnership with Drop4Drop in the UK & Ireland
- Marking National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week in Australia through themed events that support and promote our indigenous suppliers
Driving social procurement