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Creating Shared Value

 

The Osem Group staunchly believes that the value it is creating as a business organization should be shared. Osem doesn’t look out for its shareholders alone; it also strives to create value for its consumers, employees and the other interested parties. This belief is more than just a mere component of the Osem Group’s ongoing business operations, it is rather an all-encompassing, integral part of the group’s strategy.

At the foundation of this belief lies our commitment to comply with all the relevant duties incumbent on us by virtue of the law, as well as our contracts, operating principles and codes. We are also committed to protecting the future, a commitment manifest in our steadfast adherence to the principles of environmental sustainability. Above all,shared value is part of our strategy, and we create it by implementing this strategy on a day-to-day basis.

 

This broad sense of responsibility is closely intertwined with Osem’s heritage, values, directors and employees – past and present.

Osem’s values and activities dictate uncompromising obedience to state law. The group subscribes to corporate governance principles, and places special emphasis on transparency and open dialogue with various interested parties, including its community of investors.

Driven by a deep-seated sense that the group’s devoted and professional workers are its greatest asset, the Osem Group is meticulous about its employees’ rights, and is committed to creating a work environment well-suited to their needs. Osem encourages its workers to join labor unions, and the administration maintains an ongoing, productive and inspiring dialogue – characterized by the group spirit and congenial style so typical of Osem – with the various unions. All of Osem’s regular production workers are employed directly by the group (no contractor employees), and in conducting business with suppliers in specialized fields (security, catering, etc.) we take measures to ensure the rights of our contractors’ employees.

The ongoing safety of our workers and suppliers is our ever-present concern and Osem goes to great lengths to protect its workers and prevent accidents, injuries and sickness. Osem takes a proactive approach when it comes to safety, and apart from direct activities to heighten safety within the plants (offering various forms of safety instruction, for instance) we also strive to promote safety awareness in the employees’ families by hiring trainers to instruct the employees’ children about careful driving etc.

The Osem Group has a comprehensive and overt code of business conduct, which, thanks to our all-inclusive training program, is a living document, implemented regularly by our workers. 

The Osem Group’s commitment to the principles of environmental sustainability is manifest not only in its compliance with scrupulous standards of environmental protection, but also – and more importantly – in the group’s proactive endeavors to reduce the adverse effects of its various activities on the environment. The group’s various plants all take part in our multi-year objectives program, which aims to reduce harmful environmental influences, including air pollutant emission, energy consumption, and water consumption. In recent years, the Osem Group scored high on the various sustainability objectives. Specifically, Osem strives to reduce the harmful environmental influences of its product packaging by playing an active role in implementing Israel’s Packaging Management Law, and by taking internal measures to reduce packaging materials, and preferring recyclable packaging materials over others.

Our perception of our role in creating shared value requires that we exercise discretion in all our ongoing activities to ensure the benefit of the various interested parties. Below are several illustrative examples:

·         We are driven by a desire to create work places and opportunities for social mobility specifically in those places where this is most lacking, thus, most of the Osem Group’s production sites are situated in provincial areas. Osem is the largest employer in Sderot and the vast majority of our factories are located in the geographic and economic peripheries.

·         Osem implements the principles of social inclusion by employing excluded populations (minorities, individuals with special needs, gender equality) and by providing special needs’ populations with suitable work. Moreover, the group strives to avail its products to as wide a target group as possible by continuously expanding its range of products suitable for celiac patients, among others.

·         In creating our products, we place special emphasis on providing solutions to the real needs of the population. We extend tremendous effort, far beyond that which is required under law, to ensure the quality and safety of our products. Moreover, we go to great lengths to offer products that will help solve real problems that the population actually faces, including products with increased nutritional value. In planning our product packages and the printed information they display, we are careful to maintain maximum transparency with respect to the product, its ingredients and its nutritional value. One way we provide our customers with relevant information is by implementing Nestle’s Compass Program – making the information more accessible to consumers.

·         We work within the limits of self-imposed restrictions to ensure responsible advertising with regard to all our marketing activity. We pose restrictions on the content of our advertisements, broadcast hours according to the target audiences, and we encourage breastfeeding, among other things.  Our self-imposed restrictions meet the Nestle Company’s standards which are more stringent than the local legal requirements. We also occasionally collaborate in marketing enterprises with non-profit organizations working to promote communal aims.

·         We play a role in the field of nutrition education by holding workshops on various nutrition-related topics for the educational staffs and parent bodies of preschools and schools throughout the country. In Yokneam, for example, we hold an annual nutrition education program for preschool-aged children, attended by the children, their parents, and the preschool teachers. The Osem Group’s Materna Company operates the Materna Institute for the Research and Advancement of Infant Nutrition in Israel.

·         As a significant player in Israel’s economy, we strive to expand our influence on societal welfare by raising the standards of the whole supply chain and imposing our principles of social responsibility on our suppliers and fellow businesses as well. To this end, we also look out for the rights of our suppliers’ employees.

 

The Osem Group promotes communal/social/economic development through a program under the theme of Food for Life.  Our motivation for concentrating the bulk of our charitable activities on food is twofold: we are a large and well-established food company in the Israeli community, and through food donation we can maximally leverage our charity investment.

Our chief partner in this field is Latet ("To give" in Hebrew) – the Israeli Humanitarian Aid Organization, founded in 1996 with the mission of assisting underprivileged populations on a universal and egalitarian basis. Latet, Israel’s largest and most significant food bank, is an umbrella organization that operates in conjunction with many local nonprofit organizations. The Osem Group’s collaboration with Latet is far-reaching and comprehensive. It is based on the notion that the values it generates will provide the needy not only with food, but also with means of obtaining food in the future, and that this partnership will thrive not only on donations, but also on employee volunteering. This collaboration involves several enterprises which have been operating for various lengths of time.

To our great pride, the Osem Group has been the Latet Organization’s largest food donor for many years. Osem has successfully adopted a model to prevent the destruction of food, and we can safely assert that generally speaking, edible food is never destroyed in Osem. Apart from our donations of products unfit for sale, throughout the year – and particularly before the Rosh Hashana and Passover festivals – Osem also makes direct contributions of food intended for sale, and even specially manufactures food to be donated (for example, kosher for Passover food). In recent years, Osem’s food contributions have been valued at many millions of NIS per year. Osem also regularly volunteers its delivery services to Latet – delivering the food donations to the organization’s warehouses.

In addition to the food donations, Osem also operates several employee volunteering projects in the context of its collaboration with Latet. Throughout the year, we operate an employee volunteering service – for Latet or other local nonprofit organizations working in conjunction with Latet – for the packaging of food donations, and their distribution to the needy. For several years now, prior to the holidays of Tishrei, the Osem Group has been taking part in the Latet Be’ahava enterprise, in the context of which it not only donates food products, but also sets up a center for packaging Latet’s food donations in the Osem Group’s logistic center.

At the project’s peak, over 100 Osem employee volunteers help package the food products for the needy.

Osem professionals who specialize in areas relevant to the activities of Latet or the local organizations operating in conjunction with Latet, help upgrade these companies’ operations by providing assistance in areas such as nutrition, food quality assurance, safety, logistics etc. Likewise, Osem managers at various sites around the country personally adopt youth groups in the periphery neighboring the site, and provide them with ongoing support. These youth groups participate in Latet’s project "I am for you", in the course of which they are exposed to the various needs of their environment, and establish significant communal enterprises to boost the welfare of their communities.

Apart from our prominent collaboration with Latet, we also operate a variety of social enterprises in the context of which Osem donates and volunteers – both as a group, and on the level of local activities specific to individual Osem sites. 

Our contributions are not limited to food only; the Osem Group also donates other things such as usable freezers (previously used for Nestle Ice Cream), toys used for a now-defunct marketing campaigns, and even exhibition shelves no longer in use.

It is now the second year that the Osem Group is participating in "The day of good deeds" initiative of the Ruach Tova ("The Good Spirit") Organization. In the context of this initiative, groups of volunteers depart from all of the various Osem sites – on one predetermined day – to do some charitable act in the adjacent periphery. Osem was one of the first commercial companies to volunteer – as a company – for this social project. 

Throughout the year, organized blood drives are held on Osem’s various sites, enabling the employees to donate blood for a particular patient (sometimes a fellow employee) or for the public blood bank.

Materna has adopted the Arazim dormitory on Moshav Bnei Yitzchak, holding birthday parties for the children on a monthly basis. Materna’s employees and directors also volunteer at various other events held at Arazim throughout the year. Bonjour supports the baking concentration at the Rogozin school in Kiryat Gat, which borders on the Bonjour factory. The Yokneam factory aids the establishment of a unique agriculture farm for the benefit of the Ethiopian immigrants in Yokneam. The Givol (Bamba) factory is active in the children’s ward at the Wolfson hospital on a regular basis. And the list goes on… 

 

Osem consistently scores the platinum ranking in the Maalah (Business for Social Responsibility) index, and ranks among the top ten leading companies.