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Coca Cola, Corporates and Communities

Coca Cola, Corporates and Communities

Which corporates promote healthy living in NZ and who ‘walks the talk’ rather than just ticking a corporate social responsibility box?

The departing CEO of Coca Cola leaves New Zealand with the claim that Kiwis hate corporate business. Whilst the incoming CEO brings with him the latest news/advertisements that Coca Cola has joined the war on excessive calories as part of ‘healthy living’. All this fuelled with media commentators stating that ‘corporates cannot be trusted.’

If corporates are not to be trusted then surely nobody would want to work with them in partnership.Can any major company promote good health? Is it the usual suspects, food and beverage businesses, fitness or insurance companies?

For those who work in the health community particularly in not-for profit organisations many rely or attempt to, on corporate giving.

The Stanley East Company surveyed 20 community organisations that work under the umbrella of ‘healthy living.’

They included groups and organisations that work with communities-in-need, some in food rescue, others in mental health situations or working with children, the elderly and those in distress.

All recognised the need to live holistically and no one offered a single solution to fix all.
A regular comment was ‘ making small changes in peoples lives brings significant positive results. ‘

Matt Dagger, General Manager of Kaibosh, a food rescue centre in Wellington said it was
about “good nutrition for those with limited choices which was important.” “Only 3-4 years ago food parcels never contained fresh fruit and vegetables, now there’s not one without those necessary items.”

Some of those surveyed said for them healthy living meant the public (and this is where corporates can assist) having a positive attitude to ageing or disability allowing dignity and respect.

Glen McDonald of Vincents Art Workshop works alongside people with mental health issues is categoric that “feeling valued in the community and being able to express yourself is hugely important”. Vincents is a place of learning and creativity which contributes to healthy communities in Wellington.

The director, Richard Aston of Big Buddy, a national organisation based in Auckland that provides positive role models through mentoring fatherless boys said “ A healthy human life combines balance between emotions, the physical and the spiritual, it’s not all about materialism.”

How then does a corporate manage to continue business and at the same time typify healthy living to the wider community?

The community organisations answered by advising companies to collaborate with those that are already working in the space, listening to what was needed to provide practical and useful support.

This included more than just funding, attendance at events and providing business skills were often requested.

All the groups said they were willing to work with corporates and all provided names as to who they believed to be the corporate that best represented healthy living to them.

Which corporates in NZ best represent healthy living?

Watties: NZ Nutrition Foundation, recipes for older people
Hubbards: Outward Bound sponsors, Food technology sponsorships.
Genesis: Promoting energy efficiency.
Vodafone: Funding of Associated Youth Health Professionals.
ANZ: Sport.
Countdown: Macro Wholefoods.


The Stanley East Company Flash Survey c2013

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