Long before the term ‘corporate social responsibility’ existed, the proudly 100% NZ-owned and operated Foodstuffs South Island’s co-operative approach to serving the mainland set high standards in looking after its workforce, community and environment.
Despite its phenomenal growth since 1922, Foodstuffs remains 100% New Zealand-owned and operated with all profits and taxes remaining within our shores. The organisation consists of regionally based, retailer-owned co-operative companies and a federation body, Foodstuffs (NZ) Limited.
Foodstuffs South Island officially began in 1988 from the merger of two long-established grocery co-operatives, Foodstuffs (Christchurch) Ltd and Foodstuffs (Otago/Southland) Ltd. However, the company can trace its roots back to 1928.
NZ’s third largest co-op with revenue of NZ$2.875 billion (FY15/16), it has a membership of 560 independent grocers who own and operate their own businesses and work together for the mutual benefit of the co-operative.
The co-operative offers a substantial degree of assistance to its Members as well as its core activity as a wholesale merchant. These ancillary services include the marketing of their business, IT, industry-related training, food safety programmes, business services, assistance with obtaining bank funding and with loss prevention plus at-call deposit facilities.
Prime Minister John Key officially opened the co-operative’s state-of-the-art (and NZ’s biggest) supermarket distribution facility – pictured, above right – in February 2015 in Hornby.
Click on the logos below to learn more about the co-operative’s eight brands
With one-third of Kiwi children currently overweight or obese, Food for Thought was created in 2005 by Foodstuffs South Island, a nutritionist and several teachers. It’s an educational tool that helps primary school teachers support their Year 5 and 6 students to make healthier food and lifestyle choices and is run through the Food for Thought Trust, the Heart Foundation and the two Foodstuffs co-operatives.
Over this last year the Community Trust has supported the purchase of playground equipment for schools and kindergartens, craft supplies, talking books, curtain linings, food for the elderly, kitchen facilities, supported numerous teams and clubs along with ongoing assistance with the Christchurch re-build.
Foodstuffs played a key role in the immediate aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes ensuring Foodstuffs and its Members continued to “Feed the South Island”. Through the Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust, it has distributed grants of over $450,000 to individuals and community groups affected by the earthquake.
A proud member of Cooperative Business NZ, Foodstuffs South Island received a long service award at Cooperative Business NZ’s AGM in 2014 in recognition of its distinguished contribution to the co-operative business sector. Company Secretary and GM Employee and Support Services, Kim DeGarnham, pictured left, was on hand to collect the award in the same year she was elected to serve on the Cooperative Business NZ board of directors.
Cooperative Business NZ Chief Executive Craig Presland met with Kim at Foodstuffs South Island’s Support Office in Christchurch in June 2016. He confirms the strong support which this key Member provides to Cooperative Business NZ, including the provision of funding for the Auckland and Massey Universities’ research project “The Co-operative Economy of NZ” which will take place from early August 2016.
“In addition to Foodstuffs South Island allowing Kim to sit on our Board, as well as providing funding for the imminent university research project, this key Member has hosted other Cooperative Business NZ Members recently while being a strong advocate for the co-operative business model. We appreciate such strong support and guidance, and look forward to continuing our close relationship with this large and successful buying co-operative”.