SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (SED)
Our 2030 target
Tiger Brands’ socio-economic development (SED) efforts are fully committed to using our resources to promote food security in South Africa and to address the critical challenge of hunger faced by millions of South Africans. Many of the communities in which we operate face significant challenges in regard to health, nutrition and income generation, which have been exacerbated by Covid-19. Given our scale and the nature of our business, working to improve food security through local economic development approaches makes sense, and aligns with our purpose to nourish and nurture more lives every day.
Socio-economic development is integral to our business operations and ensures our social licence to operate. The B-BBEE codes for the Agri-sector stipulate that companies spend 1,5% of net profit after tax (NPAT) on SED that facilitates sustainable economic inclusion. Tiger Brands fully aligns with these national requirements, spending a total of R25,8 million on SED in 2022, compared to R22,9 million in 2021.
Our SED strategy that supports our compliance with the B-BBEE codes, takes us beyond compliance and to long-term social impact. We are moving away from traditional philanthropy, towards a role of facilitating economic empowerment and sustainable development. Our aim is to make a meaningful and lasting positive impact on local development and food resilience in our host-communities, and contribute to achieving SDG 2, 3, 8 and 10 see our contribution to the SDGs.
We work primarily through partnerships, and target the communities in close proximity to our sites, focusing our SED programmes across: food and nutrition, skills development, and enterprise development. Brand activations, employee volunteering and occasional ad hoc initiatives further feed into these core areas of focus.
Supporting local economic development in our host-communities and providing nutritious food to thousands of beneficiaries across South Africa is a significant task, and one that requires building strong relationships with key external stakeholders. We build strong partnerships with various local non-profit organisations (NPOs) to implement initiatives, and help refine our programme over time. In 2017, we conducted a stakeholder engagement to inform our SED approach, and we have since refined our strategy and initiatives iteratively together with our implementing partners.
We manage our initiatives and relationships directly with our partners via email, face-to-face and online meetings, site visits, and regular reports on progress and performance. Moving toward more digital and socially networked ways of working would help greatly in building partnerships, opening-up peer-to-peer opportunities, driving efficiency, improving data management and reporting.
We have appointed SED champions at each of our sites, and part of their mandate is to engage local stakeholders and identify community development needs in close proximity to their operations. We have more than 40 sites, and so we prioritise our SED investment to achieve the biggest impact. For this reason, we favour building long-term partnerships and projects. We have a set of standard operating requirements that guide our investment across health and nutrition, community skills and enterprise development.
We engage our partners regularly, receive quarterly and annual progress reports, and conduct follow-up sites visits and workshop discussions to monitor progress, track performance, and capture lessons learned. In 2020, we ran an exercise to calculate our social return on investment (SROI) which proved very useful in qualifying our most impactful projects. The progress reports we receive from our partners are drafted according to set requirements, and include key performance information, such as: number of beneficiaries, details of activities, details of training delivered, key challenges, key opportunities and highlights.
Our key SED initiatives drive impact across food and nutrition, and community skills and enterprise development. Through our food and nutrition programme, we provide food hampers to over 52 000 families annually, and 5 200 university students per month through Plates4Days. Through EduPlant, we support school learners at over 300 schools to grow food for their schools, families and communities. We also provide food relief in partnership with organisations such as Food Forward, SA Harvest and Gift of the Givers. In 2022, our disaster food relief efforts were directed at people uprooted by the floods in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
PLATES4DAYS GENERATES OUR BIGGEST SOCIAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Tiger Brands’ flagship food and nutrition projects. Through Plates4Days, we distribute monthly food hampers to the most vulnerable students at tertiary education institutions across South Africa. The food support we provide to these students directly translates to the completion of their studies, their entrance into the workforce, and their ability to generate an income for themselves and their families.
In 2020, we commissioned a SROI study, to track and measure the impact of some of our key SED activities. The results of the analysis indicated that our programme delivers a SROI of 4,65:1. This means that for every R1,00 we invested, we created R4,65 of social value. Our Plates4Days programme yielded the highest return on investment at 5:1.
In 2022, we amplified our activation of the Plates4Days project to raise awareness of the largely unacknowledged issue of food security for higher-education students, and to position Plates4Days as a key national support project. We have started hosting in-person events where young talent from Tiger Brands visit participating universities, and spend a day packing hampers, meeting participating students, and engaging with invited media.
Plates4Days currently provides monthly food hampers to 5 200 university students at seven universities, across 14 campuses. In 2022, we welcomed the University of Pretoria as a new participating institution.
THE EDUPLANT SCHOOL GARDENING AND NUTRITION PROGRAMME
Tiger Brands is the principal partner of the EduPlant School Gardening and Nutrition Programme implemented by Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA). EduPlant is one of South Africa’s longest-running and most successful school greening and gardening programmes, and is endorsed by the Department of Basic Education, through their National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP). EduPlant’s mission is to drive food security impact through gardening and nutrition education and practice. The programme achieves this by integrating gardening and nutrition learning into the national curriculum and using student food gardens to supplement national school feeding schemes. The programme focuses on schools, learners, and their surrounding communities, and progressively builds school-linked food-security clusters in under-resourced communities and townships. The gardens created at these schools also offer teachers the opportunity to use these gardens as outside practical classrooms teaching subjects such as biology.
TIGER BRANDS FOUNDATION: SUPPORTING IN-SCHOOL NUTRITION
The Tiger Brands Foundation was founded by Tiger Brands in 2009 to enhance our social impact relating to food and nutrition, and deliver on our purpose to nourish and nurture more lives every day.
The Tiger Brands Foundation (TBF) is governed by an independent board of trustees, and the organisation has various funders and partners, the founder and major funder being Tiger Brands. We support the TBF through our ownership structures, with approximately 5% of shareholding dividends annually. The social investment activities of the TBF run in addition to Tiger Brands’ own SED activities, and focus on in-school feeding: the delivery of in-school breakfasts, the construction of school kitchens, and the training of volunteer food handlers to prepare meals. The TBF also invests in research that supports evidence-based decision making on school nutrition in South Africa, and advocates for the inclusion of a breakfast meal within the National School Nutrition Programme run by the Department of Basic Education.
The Tiger Brands Foundation provides an in-school breakfast to non-fee paying primary and secondary schools, facilitates the construction and refurbishment of school kitchens, and invests in capacity building for the volunteer food handlers who prepare the meals at participating schools.
The Tiger Brands breakfast programme provides the essential breakfast meal to 74 177 learners each school day at 95 schools across all provinces in South Africa. The programme has served a cumulative total of 109 million breakfasts since 2011 (2021: 99 million). In 2022, we served 10 million breakfasts and added one new school to the programme. Unfortunately, we lost nine schools in Gouda Western Cape, as one of our sponsors did not renew their contract due to a strategic CSI refocus on their part.
School kitchens are essential for delivering the breakfast programme, and to ensure that food is prepared in a hygienic environment. In 2022, we delivered six kitchens at a total value of R2,93 million, including two new kitchens in Mpumalanga, two new kitchens in Eastern Cape, and two renovations in Northern Cape. Successful implementation of the breakfast programme relies on the collective effort of district officials, school monitors, regional coordinators, school governing body members, and volunteer food handlers. Regional coordinators are full time employees of TBF, and school monitors work a half-day to support the coordinators in some provinces. Volunteer food handlers prepare and serve the breakfast at participating schools, and are employed by the school to cook the daily meal for the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP). The TBF breakfast programme utilises the same food handlers as the NSNP, and pay an additional stipend for them to cook the breakfast. After a two-year hiatus we have restarted our food handler training programme with funding from Tiger Brands. The training programme is attended by all key personnel involved in executing the breakfast programme, and is delivered through workshops that cover food hygiene, food safety, food nutrition, and food preparation, as well as food employment and entrepreneurship. The training is certified by City and Guilds, and the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA). In 2022, 57 people were trained through the programme in the Upington area of the Northern Cape.
The NSNP is the largest social support programme (after social grants) in South Africa, and delivers a cooked school meal to 9,2 million learners every school day. The NSNP recognises the value of adding a breakfast to the current single meal and this has been supported by the TBF’s research and advocacy work. The TBF works together with the NSNP to deliver an additional breakfast meal through the NSNP, with the aim of assisting learners that come to school hungry to get the most out of their school day. As a result, breakfast programmes are being piloted in the Eastern Cape and North West using existing NSNP funding, with the aim to launch a full breakfast programme for quintile 1 to 3 schools in the Eastern Cape from 2023.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we paused our research and advocacy activities, and reallocated this budget to providing emergency food hampers. All told, we have provided 68 934 emergency food hampers since the start of the crisis in 2020, and in 2022 provided 9 000 hampers. We also ran a back-to-school campaign for the second year in a row to celebrate the easing of the pandemic, while continuing to assist schools with preventing Covid-19 infections. We ran the campaign in all partner schools, and donated 70 000 washable and reusable facemasks.
In 2022, with the Covid-19 crisis alleviated somewhat, we restarted our research and advocacy activities. We completed two research projects in July 2022 in partnership with the Centre for Social Development (CSDA) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).