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Community engagement a key factor

Tom O'Leary Dec 12
Community engagement a key factor
Remy Charbonnel, Yashili New Zealand Operations Director, with a proud local school pupil.

Community, cultural and environmental values are cornerstones of Yashili New Zealand’s commitment to being a good corporate citizen and blending seamlessly with what it means to be Kiwi. While Yashili is strongly focused on providing consumers with the highest quality infant formula product, it is not at the cost to the environment.

Abiding by rigorous environment protection procedures and taking every effort to minimize any negative impact of its operation, sustainability is a key part of the company’s corporate citizenship activities, influencing everything from energy-saving production improvements to the adoption of recycling-oriented manufacturing.

Regular engagement with local Iwi on economic development and on cultural initiatives as part of Yashili’s responsibility as a guardian – kaitiaki – ensures protection of the environment along with economic, cultural and spiritual health and the wellbeing of present and future generations.

Tina Yakas, Yashili New Zealand ’s Human Resources Manager explains that community engagement is one of the key strategic pillars of the company’s corporate social responsibility, sitting alongside care within workplace, marketplace and environment. “Our community involvement takes many forms and we include our employees in decisions about community activities.

“For example, we support local charities with financial contributions and sponsor local events and sports teams. “We’re a major sponsor for the Pokeno School Annual Gala and we’ve supported rebuilding the playground at Mercer Primary School.”

Wherever possible Yashili supports local businesses such as the Pokeno Health Centre for employee visits and La Valla Function Centre for events including training, team building and staff functions.

Yashili provides a significant financial contribution to Auckland University into ongoing food research and provides an internal Graduate programme offering new graduates a 24-month development plan working within all functions of the business before settling into their desired career choice.

“As this program evolves, we will be introducing a working relationship with both Auckland and Waikato University’s in the recruitment of a number of graduates in 2020.”

In 2016, together with the Chinese master pianist Lang Lang, Yashili sponsored a fundraising campaign for Heart Kids to support children living with congenital heart conditions.

Community engagement a key factor

“As the event sponsor of Lang Lang’s Auckland Piano Recital at the Civic Theatre we donated one hundred Ruby-seated concert tickets to Heart Kids as a fundraiser. “All the sales profits went to Heart Kids, which supports the one-in-100 kiwi babies born with a heart defect each week.

“It was a real privilege to help New Zealand babies suffering from heart defects, and involvement of world-renowned pianist Lang Lang made the company’s contribution to child health even more special.”

Tina points to the strong relationship Yashili has enjoyed with the Waikato District Council since the company’s early days in New Zealand. “As the first industry to build in the region we’re viewed as an anchor employer in the growing community of Pokeno in the Northern Waikato.

“We’re focused on being a good local employer and active member of the dairy sector and local business community. We employ local people committed to providing our consumers with the highest quality product.”

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