Our commitment to community.
Responsibility and respect for others.
An integral part of our corporate philosophy is supporting the communities in which we do business, and over the years we have given both time and money to many community organizations.
We are currently focusing our philanthropy on an exciting new project. We are very pleased to be working with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank on a new social enterprise with two overarching goals—to turn surplus produce into nutritious products, and to provide training and employment for persons with barriers to employment, so as to help break the cycle of poverty.
The project focuses on reducing food waste in the local food system by sourcing surplus produce and processing it into nutritious, consumable products. The products will be produced to meet all health and nutritional requirements. We will then distribute those products through Food Bank channels at minimal cost, and will be seeking retail and wholesale channels for the products with the goal of securing a revenue stream to help fund the operation. We are starting with sourcing tomatoes, which we will turn into tomato soup and diced tomatoes. We are fortunate to have renowned local chef Karen Barnaby working with us on the recipe development.
The ultimate desired outcome is a self-sustaining operation which uses produce that would otherwise go to waste and provides meaningful employment to a significant group of people, and an operation which would serve as a model for others to implement in other regions. We also intend to educate community and youth around issues of food waste, food insecurity, and employment development and entrepreneurship.
In addition to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, and the General Manager for the project, Alexa Pitoulis, there are a number of people working in a collaborative model bringing together local partners with strengths in all aspects of the operation.
- Potluck Café Society, which is providing both employees for the production facility and services for training additional employees with barriers to employment, as the project grows.
- Commissary Connect, which is providing space for the production facility.
- Rethink Communications, which has provided brand development and marketing advice at no cost.
- Fresh Direct Produce and the Star Group (BC Hot House), who are providing the tomatoes for the testing and development phase of the project.
We are also very grateful to the following individuals who have graciously given their time and strategic thinking as the board and advisors on the project:
- Bev Park
- Blair Rebane
- Carolyn Tuckwell
- Fabio Banducci
- John Smiley
- Kristi Miller
- Colin Stansfield, Potluck Café Society
- Davis Yung, Fresh Direct Produce
- Mark Vickers
- Pat Day
- Sarb Mund, Commissary Connect
- Stuart Lilley, Waste Collective
- Susan Levang, Commissary Connect
For more information about the project or how you can be involved, please contact Alexa Pitoulis, General Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For general enquiries about our philanthropy, please contact Karen Gilmore at email@example.com.