The facility, on the grounds of the Ferrero Production Plant, was officially opened by the Italian Ambassador to South Africa, the Honourable Pietro Giovanni Donnici, Gauteng Health Chief Information Officer, Solly Cave, and Giacomo Ferrero, GM of Ferrero South Africa; with a word of thanks by Solly Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The ceremony was attended by several hundred people, including Ferrero staff, Ferrero business partners, health institutions and representatives of the local community.
The health care centre is courtesy of the Michele Ferrero Entrepreneurial Project - South Africa and offers medical assistance free of charge to about 400 Ferrero plant staff, their children, and extended family members.
Long term, the company hopes to extend the service to disadvantaged families in the wider community.
It was a fitting and jubilant tribute when The Soweto Gospel Choir sang Avulekil’Amasango, as the doors of the PHCC were thrown open for the first time, with social activist and TV/radio star, Andile Gaelesiwe, acting as Master of Ceremony.
As one of the world’s biggest chocolate confectionary companies, the family-owned business’ humanitarian and social spirit has been a driving force. This inspired the creation – in South Africa, Cameroon, and India - of the Michele Ferrero Entrepreneurial Project (MFEP). This initiative was previously known as Ferrero Social Enterprises and was later renamed in honour of its founding father, Michele Ferrero who passed away in 2015.
MFEP has a twofold mission: to create jobs in less advantaged areas of emerging economies to fight the serious consequences of unemployment and; implement humanitarian and social projects aimed at safeguarding the health, education and social development of children and young people in the communities where the Project operates.
To this purpose, each company engaged in the MFEP commits itself to create a local Social Fund utilised on a three-year basis to fund social initiatives, regardless of whether the company succeeds in making a profit or not.
The Michele Ferrero Entrepreneurial Project – South Africa has been operating in the country since 2006. In 2009, the construction of a modern processing plant in Walkerville further contributed in alleviating the unemployment in this community.
“Thanks to the new Primary Health Care Centre at the Walkerville plant, we will be able to strengthen and better the mandatory occupational health care services which were previously provided to our workers at a small infirmary within our plant. At the same time, and more importantly, we will be dispensing primary health care services that will be accessible not only to our workers, but also to their children and family members. This way, the scope of this project extends beyond the perimeter of our plant and seeks to benefit, more broadly, the local community at large,” says Emiliano Camerlengo, Director of the Walkerville plant.
As supporters of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the Ferrero Group counts sustainability among the most important pillars in business. This is symbolically reflected in the way the health care centre was built by re-utilising housing modules previously designed for the Ferrero exhibition stand at the 2015 World Expo in Milan, Italy, which focused, among other things, on sustainability of food production and processing.
“The Group’s social responsibility - shared both at global and local level – stems out of an entrepreneurial culture that we define as GLOCAL:
- it is GLOBAL, because the Group has a presence in most markets around the world and its principles and actions are manifested everywhere in the same way;
- yet, it is also LOCAL, for the pride of its roots and the desire to keep alive the links with the people and the territories in which it operates,” says Giacomo Ferrero, GM of Ferrero South Africa.
In the past, the Michele Ferrero Entrepreneurial Project in South Africa supported the Salesian project ‘Love Matters’, residential seminars run at the Don Bosco Centre in Walkerville aimed at raising awareness on HIV prevention, that were attended by over 600 young people.
It also contributed in improving educational facilities within the Walkerville community by fully renovating the local Japie Greyling School, a primary school recently renamed Randvaal Primary School.
This project, implemented in close collaboration with the South African Ministry of Basic Education, was part of its ‘94+ School Projects for Madiba’
Programme whose aim was to mobilise resources from private donors to support over 94 schools in the country, in honor of Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday.About Ferrero Group
The Ferrero company was established in Alba, a small town in the northern Italian province of Piedmont in 1946. A family-owned business, the premium confectionery group operates 55 companies and 22 production plants across the world. In the financial year 2015/2016, its turnover exceeded 10.3 billion Euros.
Ferrero Group gives work opportunities to over 40,000 people worldwide. Some of its most known brands include Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Joy, Nutella, and Tic Tac.