Mondelez received a certificate of success from the Egyptian Federation of Industry (EFI) in 2014 for the “Our Children’s Wheat” project. Daily News Egypt interviewed the Corporate & Government Affairs Manager in Egypt and the Levant for Mondelēz Foods Egypt, Ola Loutfi.
What are Mondelez’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes or activities?
In the CSR programme, Mondelez provides some services the community needs and we focus on four pillars: community partnership, sustainable resources and agriculture, besides mindful snacking.
The most important Mondelez CSR programme is “Our Children’s Wheat”, as it is considered the first sustainable CSR programme we have worked on to address one of the most important problems in Egypt. The project’s period is three years (2014-2016), and is implemented by Care Egypt and the Ministry of Agriculture. The project fund is EGP 4m.
Our reasons to launch such project are; Egypt produces approximately 8m tons of wheat annually and imports 10m tons. In addition, Egypt loses about 12% of its wheat production due to the farmers being fed up with their farms and using some traditional and wrong methods in planting wheat. Besides, the government controls its prices.
Mondelez has a lot of CSR projects. Since 2012 Mondelez started a programme of recycling the outdoor banners, and this programme is called “from banners to bags”, in which the company collected the old advertisement banners and gave to the women who have very tiny textiles factories. We were surprised by their products. They made school bags, kitchen aprons, pencil cases and market bags to sell in the market and help them to raise their standard of living.
This was in addition to refurbishing schools in Sharm El-Sheikh. The regional sales team from different countries spent a day with orphans at the 10th of Ramadan City to have fun and teach them how to plant small plants, and the importance of healthy environment. Mondelez has donated three working days to provide food at the food bank, and participates as sponsor in the “Enactus Special Competition for Community Development”.
We will launch two other activities this year. The first one is called “Hello Joy”, which is represented in distributing chocolate in the streets through company’s employees, customers and sales team. In addition, a new project will target secondary school students in Cairo and Giza, and undergraduate students in Cairo and Ain Shams Universities to hold some “school youth mentoring”, in which they will learn how to select your career and define your skills and needs, in addition to teaching them how to be a successful person.
What are the CSR projects’ outcomes and successes?
The most important success we achieved is increasing wheat in the project lands in five governorates at the rate of 100%. These governorates are Luxor, Aswan, Sohag, Beheira and Minya, and we selected 10 farms from every governorate every year, so the total farms in the five governorates in three years are 150 farms. The company expected a 3% increase in the wheat production in the selected farms, but the real increase reached 15% of wheat production.
We will submit proposal to the cabinet and presidency next week to present the project and publicise it through the government in all other governorates. Mondelez received a certificate of success from the Egyptian Federation of Industry (EFI) in 2014.
How do you monitor and follow-up these projects?
The charity activities do not need monitoring because the company’s staff did these activities by themselves. In the project “Our Children’s Wheat”, which is implemented by Care, we asked them to submit a quarterly report about the project developments. Furthermore, the staff attends the project events as we have celebration on 7 May on the occasion of wheat harvesting in Minya, and on 10 May all the staff will go to join the farmers in harvesting the wheat in Beheira.
Does the company have any CSR programmes outside Egypt?
Indeed , we have a great project on promoting raising the standard of living of the cocoa farmers in China, India , Ghana and other countries planting cocoa, with funding worth $600m within 10 years. The project aims to supporting the farmers in planting cocoa, so as not convert their lands into planting other crops, through providing agriculture equipment and bicycles to their children to ease their way to schools and their farms.