Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

In February 2021, we announced a new partnership with Kellogg Australia Charitable Foundation to help local communities access support to address food insecurity in their communities. We asked Esme Borgelt, Managing Director at Kellogg’s Australia and New Zealand to tell us why food insecurity is so important to them, and more about their approach. 

Esme Borgelt, Managing Director at Kellogg’s Australia and New Zealand. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images for Kellogg's)
Esme Borgelt. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images for Kellogg’s)

1.  Tell us a little about Kellogg’s and your approach to CSR.

Our company is focused on doing well through doing good and has been since we were first founded. This purpose and commitment to doing what is right and having a positive impact on the lives of the communities where we operate runs through the heart and soul of our business. Our heart and soul strategy is focused on driving transformational change by addressing the issue of food insecurity to help nourish people and nurture our planet.

This issue of food insecurity is intertwined with other major challenges. Namely, the impact of climate change, food waste and the depletion of our natural resources. We know that if we are going to tackle food insecurity, we need to understand all the root causes and then we need to work holistically to address them. 

That’s our approach – working holistically through our own operations to reduce our impact, through our supply chain to build resilient food crops and through our philanthropy work with the KACF and our other food relief programmes to help make a meaningful difference on these issues.  

2.     The focus of your partnership with FRRR is food insecurity. Why is that so important to Kellogg’s?

Kellogg’s has long been focused on fighting hidden hunger across Australia and NZ. Access to healthy food is a daily challenge for many vulnerable people throughout Australia. They might not be able to get to a secure and reliable source of nutrition or cannot afford the quality of food they need to be healthy.

Far too many people in this country experience food insecurity. Unfortunately, the last 12 months has further exacerbated this issue with the drought, bushfires and the pandemic putting more pressure on those exact communities who were already doing it extremely tough – many of these rural and regional areas. The 2019 Foodbank Hunger report showed that 24% of Australians experiencing food insecurity live in regional or remote areas.

This is why the Kellogg Australia Charitable Foundation and FRRR partnership has a focus on supporting food insecurity initiatives and enterprises, food affordability and food access program, as well as projects such as community gardens, and school and educational food program.

3.    How do you expect that this partnership will help you deliver on your corporate mission and vision?

This three-year partnership with FRRR is part of our commitment to supporting communities in need in Australia and is aligned with the mission to helping solve for food insecurity in regional and rural areas.

It is supported through the Kellogg Australia Charitable Foundation (KACF), formed in 2007 and focused on supporting charitable initiatives that promote a healthier world with long term commitments that make a meaningful difference. FRRR’s strategic focus on creating healthier more vibrant communities in Australia perfectly aligns with the purpose of the KACF. 

4.   What was it about FRRR that made you choose to partner with us to work on this important issue?

The purpose and strategic focus of FRRR and the impact that we want to have through the Kellogg Australia Charitable Foundation to help solve for food insecurity in regional and rural areas, were very aligned.

Further to this, the local approach that the FRRR team take in ensuring that the grants get to those communities who need it most was also a key part of the decision to partner. The belief that “local leaders are best placed to know what their community needs” resonated with us quite strongly. The people and place-based approach where locals are the ones working out what their community needs made complete sense for the how the Kellogg Australia Charitable Foundation could help have the greatest impact on the ground. 

5.       What do you look for when seeking to partner with NFP organisations?

Impact Focused: We look for partners who are really focused on impacts. Making a meaningful and measurable difference to the lives of the people in Australia is at the core of what we look for in a partner.
Collaborative: When we look for a partnership it’s not just about donating funds through KACF and job done. We look for how else we can partner to ensure we have the greatest impact together. With FRRR, this will be through finding opportunities for us to support with additional food donations for the grant recipients if needed, or providing access to the Kellogg Company employees who will donate their time as skilled and unskilled volunteering, and also engaging in the conversation and policy discussions around the issues facing our rural and regional communities to help create lasting change.
Aligned vision and values: We want to make sure our vision and values are aligned for the partnership but also more broadly as two organisations coming together. This is important.  

6.    We have partners that collaborate on programs, as Kellogg’s is in contributing to SRC, while others prefer to establish stand-alone programs. What are your thoughts on these approaches and why the collaborative approach was the right avenue for Kellogg’s, in this case?

What appealed about the SRC program and this collaborative granting approach is that it is flexible and focused on responding to the community’s needs. The people on the ground are living the challenges every day. They are best placed to tell us what support they need. Not the other way around.

Ultimately, we want to ensure that the funds from the KACF help communities in need and having a meaningful and lasting impact for that community. While we have a focus on food insecurity, the funds can flex if needed to help with other pressing issues, such as disaster relief or the like.