Bakers Delight and Back in Motion share franchising award

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This year's Franchisor Social Responsibility Award, presented at the 2009 MYOB Excellence in Franchising awards, went to joint winners - Bakers Delight and Back in Motion.

This award recognises a franchisor's outstanding commitment and contribution to regional, national and global communities and the natural environment.

Judges' comment: Both organisations are great examples of franchise systems meeting the needs of corporate social responsibility in a big way.

Chris Caldwell, general manager of marketing and operational support at Bakers Delight, says "Our commitment to local communities is pivotal to our connection with the Australian market. Having strong community links also reinforces that we aren't a faceless brand - bakeries are run by real people from real communities."

In addition to the national campaigns raising almost $3.7 million for Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) and the $140 million plus bread donations to charities each year, other community engagement programs include the Top Sports grants program which saw Bakers Delight invest over $250,000 in 60 grassroots sporting clubs and 20 schools across Australia, and the Bundraiser campaign where bakeries donated $1 from every six pack of Hot Cross Buns sold to purchase valuable equipment for children's hospitals around Australia.

Bakers Delight also actively supports environmentally conscious practices through a range of initiatives such as new 'green' artisan ovens, which will result in a 25 per cent reduction in energy resources, and environmentally friendly calico bags.

Sharing this award is Back in Motion Health Group. Co founder Jason Smith explains that unusually for a franchise company the structure from the start involved charitable contributions and a not-for-profit foundation was considered the most relevant method.

"The vision was for our success in the community to be significant," explained Smith.

The SOS Foundation is designed to have a long lasting impact on disadvantaged people; a lot of work is done with Southern Cross kids camp which has 11 camps around Australia for abused kids."

Other recipients of help are the Crisis Support program, the Salvos - physios and support staff helped after the bushfires, a men's homeless shelter and an outreach mission in the Northern Territory. Support is often

volunteering not just funds.

"It's diverse, purposely, because there is so much need. The Foundation is a conduit to be significant in areas we feel we can be effective," said Smith.

Franchisees each month comply with a voluntary option to make a monthly pledge, direct debiting from $2,000 to $15,000 each year.

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