GNAP JULY BINAN 10

Toast to Life

Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, Inc.

2. Zero Hunger 3. Good Health and Well-Being 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, Inc. is a leading bread manufacturing company. Its products are loaves, buns, snack cakes, and toasts. Gardenia utilizes premium and finest ingredients to produce world-class quality and nutritious bakery products in a state-of-the-art, fully automated, and well-sanitized bread manufacturing facility. This business innovation addresses two UN SDGs, SDG#3 and SDG#12.

Author

Nadine-Jell Lopez

Nadine-Jell Lopez

School

De La Salle University

De La Salle University

Professor

Pia Manalastas

Pia Manalastas

Innovation

“Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, Inc. is a multi-national company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of QAF Limited, a leading multi-industry food company with extensive operations and distribution network in the Asia-Pacific region including Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. For more than two decades, Gardenia has been in the country and is the largest bread manufacturing company in the Philippines, with five plants in Laguna, Pampanga, Cagayan de Oro, and Cebu, Philippines. In terms of the Sustainability Report, Gardenia has no independent sustainability report in the Philippines but has a significant part in the QAF Annual Sustainability Report. It summarizes the economic, environmental, social, and governance performance, also known as EESG, of the whole company and its subsidiaries, where Gardenia Philippines is one of the biggest subsidiaries of the QAF limited,” as introduced by Ms. Jolly.

SDG#2 - No Hunger, SDG#3 – Good Health and Well-being, and SDG#12 – Responsible Consumption and Production

According to Ms. Jolly, these three SDGs are the most relevant in the company’s operations as QAF Limited is involved in the food industry. For the 2020 QAF Sustainability Report, the SDGs are categorized into five dimensions: prosperity, products, processes, planet, people, peace, and partnerships.

“These SDGs are embedded in the business. It’s about our contribution to consumers in terms of health and wellness and how we can help the community. We check and assess what could be the possible significant effects and impacts of our programs and initiatives for our stakeholders. Those are some of the considerations in coming up with this business decision. The good thing is, all sustainability activities and philanthropic efforts are led and supported by the top management.”, explained Ms. Jolly.

By creating world-class quality and nutritious bakery products fortified with vitamins and minerals that are affordable to Filipinos, Gardenia contributes to SDG #2 and 3. By adhering to healthy and safe manufacturing operations (for every stakeholder – their employees and the community), the company maintains its competitive edge as one of the leading bread manufacturing companies in the Philippines and contributes to SDG #12.


Toast to Life

Inspiration

The mission of the company is “to provide an assortment of the best quality, great-tasting, nutritious and enjoyable bakery, and food products that are within sight, within reach and within the hearts of consumers; produced using world-class manufacturing facilities and processes utilizing quality and safe ingredients, thereby creating values beneficial to stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, trade partners, financial institutions, investors and the community” led by the president, Mr. Umali.

According to Ms. Jamoralin, it all started with the company’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) during its first full year of operations in the Philippines in 1998 through simple bread donations to charities, foundations, marginalized communities, or outreach activities all by requests. It is integrated into the company’s freshness policy, where daily unsold loaves of bread are replaced with fresh stocks. These are pulled out, returned to the plant, subjected to quality checks, and donated to charities. She added that these pieces of bread are still suitable for human consumption as Gardenia loaves have seven days shelf life or even a month or more when properly handled. Those loaves and deformed snack items are sold to fish meal contractors for their fish feeds.

Overall impact

"We can measure the impact of this innovation in the business by creating brand awareness among our consumers. People perceived Gardenia as a socially responsible company because of our CSR activities. In terms of financial impacts, we can generate savings from the efficient use of electricity, waste management programs, and others," explained Ms. Jolly.


Business benefit

This business innovation gives a strong brand equity and a socially responsible brand image. Moreover, the bread donation efforts are integrated into the company’s overall business strategy. This only shows how much the company cares for its consumers and every stakeholder.


Social and environmental benefit

Ms. Jamoralin explained the social and environmental benefits of their business innovation and processes using 5Ps (prosperity, products and processes, planet, people, peace, and partnerships).

Planet - “Some of the company’s programs and initiatives for the environment are energy management. We also use liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas as fuel for ovens. We also monitor the impact of this effort for the overall financial implication and, at the same time, environmental implication. We do the regular maintenance of delivery trucks and other vehicles of Gardenia. Some energy management initiatives that we do are LED lights and sensor-activated lighting. Digitization started last year (2020) in some of our operations. We practice paperless transactions, and process automation increases efficiency and reduces processing time and paper consumption. As far as waste and effluents are concerned, we have wastewater facilities. We also do regular testing and monitoring on standard effluent parameters led by our management engineers. We also implement recycling and waste segregation activities nationwide in all of our facilities. We develop biodegradable plastic for our bread packaging. Plastic retrieval efforts are also part of our plans. Before the pandemic, we have tree-planting activities in Partnership with DENR (Department of Energy and Natural Resources). We encourage our employees to volunteer in those activities. Gardenia plants are ISO and HACCP certified. Our operations strictly follow Good Manufacturing Standards. Some of our facilities are Halal certified.”

As for the company’s plans, it’s about the company’s activities for the sustainability of the 5Ps.

Prosperity – “It’s about governance and ethics wherein we monitor and report the incidence of corruption based on our internal audits. Also, Gardenia is a signatory to the “Integrity Initiative Program” we make sure we practice integrity in our company. Our suppliers are committed to our integrity initiative, and an anti-corruption policy exists. Gardenia is also compliant with the policies and regulations of the government bodies that we’re working with.”

Products and Processes – “We are promoting healthy eating and lifestyle to all of our stakeholders. We encourage our consumers to purchase healthy bread options in terms of product affordability. Gardenia products are enriched with vitamins and minerals. We also introduced affordable recipes where we launched “Gardee’s Kitchen,” wherein we have 200 recipes for our consumers. These 2–3-minute videos give our consumers ideas on what other foods they can cook using Gardenia Bread, such as desserts. Other videos talk about kitchen tips and hacks. We are also promoting healthy bread variants high in fiber or new products enriched with more vitamins and minerals.

“We have programs on both private and government employees where we do BMI consultation and sampling of our healthy bread. Now, we are offering online consultation facilitated by our internal registered nutritionist and dieticians about healthy eating and proper nutrition through free webinars.”

“We have school Nutri-tour Activities where we give lectures to students as well as recipe demos where we give a sampling of bread to students. We also have the Gardenia Nutrition Assistance program, where we adopt a school for one school year. We give bread to those students who are classified as severely wasted based on their nutritional status as classified by DOH (Department of Health). We support them by providing bread for one year, and we check if there is a significant improvement in the nutritional status of the student. For elementary and high school students, we prepared some videos incorporated in the modules and lectures of students using “I Learn with Gardenia” in Partnership with DepEd.”

“We also have “Nutrition and Sanitation for a Better Future” Program – in Partnership with DepEd and Red Cross where we provide lectures on nutrition, healthy eating, proper hygiene, and healthy lifestyle as well as games. Red Cross is teaching elementary students “Proper Handwashing” for proper hygiene.”

People – “We also promote health and safety of our employees where we have programs such as free yoga and Zumba classes. Our employees have 1 hour after work to do these exercises, and surprisingly, they are happier to go back to work after these exercises. Currently, we have “Zumba Class” around 8–9 am, which is an online Zumba Class for our employees. We also have a quarterly wellness week where it’s a one-week program where lectures on health disorders are discussed, and free bread is given to employees. The company also provides free flu vaccines for all employees.”

“For the health and safety of our employees, we provide surgical face masks, face shields, alcohol, and sanitizers. In addition to this, we provide multi-vitamins to help boost their immune system and install thermal scanners to all entry points of the company. We do mist and regular disinfection to all common areas and facilities and additional shuttles and staff houses to our employees. We implement strict protocols for the safety of our employees where we have an hourly announcement and constant reminder of social distancing protocols. We also allow work from home and cohort work schedules for our employees. Moreover, we provide financial support to the employees who are infected with Covid.”

“In terms of training and development, the department head provides a training plan that is closely monitored. Additional training is given to all employees based on their needs. We provide internal and external training sponsored by the company. The company also supports education for those who want to take masters to empower them at their work.”

Peace and Partnership – “In enriching the communities, we provide regular donations to our 65 regular beneficiaries where we provide bread. These activities are integrated into the overall strategic business direction of the company. The company is in Partnership with the different government bodies such as DepEd, DOH, and the Red Cross.”

Ms. Jolly also explained that Gardenia visits poor communities, and one of them was in Santa Maria Laguna. They had to cross seven rivers and walk for 2 hours to reach the remote area. After a long day’s walk, the community was very thankful for all their efforts and donations to the remote community. This shows that Gardenia is a bread brand and a brand that cares for the Filipino people.

At the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Gardenia partnered with major flour suppliers and came up with an initiative to donate doughs and baked bread and distributed those to hospitals and affected communities. They also donated an emergency quarantine facility with 28 beds that are still used until now, according to Ms. Jolly.

She also explained that Gardenia caters to all segments such as the students, households, marginalized or depressed communities, private and public office workers, and health practitioners. She also explained that President Umali is hopeful that this will encourage more consumers and more partnerships for the company’s objectives.


Interview

Jolly Ventura-Jamoralin, Government &PR Supervisor

Photo of interviewee

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Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, Inc.

Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, Inc.

Biñan, Laguna, PH

Business Website: https://www.gardenia.com.ph/

Year Founded: 1997

Number of Employees: 1001 to 5000

Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, Inc. is a leading bread manufacturing company. Its products are loaves, buns, snack cakes, and toasts. Gardenia utilizes premium and finest ingredients to produce world-class quality and nutritious bakery products in a state-of-the-art, fully automated, and well-sanitized bread manufacturing facility. This business innovation addresses two UN SDGs, SDG#3 and SDG#12.