CEO CookOff : Outstanding Success over $2m raised

Lactalis Australia was a proud participant in the 2018 OzHarvest CEO CookOff, held in Sydney on Monday evening 19th March.  A small group of team members raised $21,246 in funds to go towards this great charity, but also cooked up a storm in the kitchen to help feed over 1,400 people.

OzHarvest is Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it directly to more than 1000 charities supporting people in need across the country.  The $2m raised means that meals for more than 4 million people can be prepared and served to those in need.

The CEO CookOff is all about bringing leadership, passion and amazing teamwork together, with top chefs and industry leaders joining forces.  Two hundred CEOs and corporate teams, cooked alongside 50 of Australia’s favourite chefs to feed 1,400 special guests from charity agencies across Sydney.

A big thank you to everyone who donated to support the cause and be part of wanting to make a real difference to our society.

“It was a wonderful experience, the way the chefs get so much preparation done in advance and then when it comes time to serve the meals go out in no more than 10-15 minutes. Some 1400 3 course meals delivered between 7 and 8:30. The chefs are genuine professionals. The OzHarvest volunteers were terrific and the feeling in the room was one of enjoy and make it a fun night. OzHarvest raised well over $2m from the event and Lactalis Australia was in the top 10 team in what we raised. Definitely would do it again.” (Vince Houlihan, General Manager Supply Chain)

“What a fabulous night with a great bunch of Lactalis Australia people. The people at Ozharvest were absolutely tremendous. So many people giving their time, money and passion to such an event. Everyone had a smile on their face. I feel proud to be part of such an event. If you have not had the time yet ,  look  at their website .” (Dan Helfand, Regional Sales Manager Southern Asia)

“It was genuinely humbling to see an amazing group of people rally together passionately to support such an incredible cause. For me, seeing the number of people who were able to sit down and enjoy a 3 course meal in a positive and fun atmosphere was wonderful. The atmosphere on the night was positive and engaging and everyone was there wanting to make a difference.”(Meagan Churchley, Customer Activation Manager)

“Great experience. The event was really well organised by a passionate group of people who were committed to making a difference to the lives of a group of  less fortunate people. Our chefs and the Lactalis Australia team were  awesome. We all worked hard whilst having a lot of fun. The efforts of the Oz Harvest team raised over $2m and gave a group of around 1400 people a very memorable evening. “(Mandy Normoyle, National Safety, Health and Environment Manager)

White Ribbon Australia

White Ribbon is Australia’s only national, male-led campaign which recognises the positive role that men play in putting an end to men’s violence against women. It fosters and encourages male leadership in the prevention of violence against women, based on the understanding that most men are not violent.

The campaign works through primary prevention initiatives including awareness raising, education, programs with youth, schools, workplaces, and across the broader community.

Lactalis Australia has been working with White Ribbon since 2015, when employees chose to support this cause by holding fundraising drives and raising awareness of how Lactalis Australia and its staff could make a real difference.


In November 2017, this commitment was taken a step further to gain White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation. All Lactalis Group companies in Australia are now official White Ribbon Workplaces, the first of any FMCG companies in Australia to be awarded this important accreditation.


With this accreditation, we’ve adapting our organisational culture, practices and procedures so that they actively promote safe workplaces for women and respectful relationships.


Violence against women is a serious, prevalent and preventable issue in Australia. Violence against women – whether it occurs in or beyond the workplace – impacts on the health and safety of employees, their wellbeing and their productivity. It impacts negatively on workplace culture, organisational reputation and bottom-line profit and loss.


You can find out more about White Ribbon and the White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program at

St Vincent de Paul Society

An association which began with one employee “sleeping rough” for the night, has morphed into a significant partnership between ‘Vinnies’ and Lactalis Australia.

Since 2012, Lactalis Australia staff have been putting their hands up to get involved in different Vinnies’ activities and initiatives, their enthusiasm underpinned by the company’s strong commitment to team engagement.

Vinnies provides so many “user friendly” activities for staff to be involved in – our teams have regularly participated in successful clothing drives, the Christmas giving tree,  helping out at the Vinnies Sumner Park warehouse sorting clothes, and we take part annually at the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, with employee representatives taking part all around the country.

There’s always more than enough volunteers internally who want to be a part of this successful community partnership. And the greater the depth of involvement, the more energy it creates within the company.

Find out more >>

Ronald McDonald House Charities

Lactalis Australia has had a long running association with Ronald McDonald house, supporting the organization through our annual Charity Golf Day.

Like our association with St Vinnies, the relationship began not at a corporate level, but via the energy and enthusiasm of a couple of Lactalis Australia team members - Karen Abell and Andrew Lynch. Ronald McDonald House had been planning to invest in a large commercial refrigerator where families living in the house could store their food. However Karen and Andrew went a step further, rallying the support of Lactalis Australia’s generous suppliers to design, fund, and install a purpose built cold room facility.

That was more than five years ago. Since that initial involvement, Lactalis Australia , through the Golf Day program, has donated well in excess of $400,000, helping RMC provide for and support families whose lives have been upended by cancer.

"We’re enormously proud of our partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities" Lactalis Australia CEO, Rod Walden said. "Through event fundraisers like our annual golf day, and our refrigeration and product support to the RMH kitchens, we know our support makes a difference in the lives and stories of families who fight heartbreaking battles many of us know nothing about”.

Food Bank

For an organization like Lactalis Australia, Corporate Social Responsibility plays out in many different ways.

It can mean respecting and protecting the environment, or acting with integrity while conducting business with our suppliers.  Or it can involve supporting our farmers, during extreme weather events, such as floods or droughts, like we did in Queensland after the dramatic floods of 2011. Similarly in Victoria, where our three year milk supply agreement guaranteed a minimum farm gate price that protected our suppliers from the massive decline in milk price during the 2016/17 season.

All of these business practices are part of who we are as a business, and how we want to be regarded in the community. They demonstrate true social responsibility.

But just recently, the impact of another of our important CSR platforms was showcased, in the delivery of the Foodbank annual report.

As many of the Lactalis Australia team would be well aware, we have actively supported this well respected charitable organisation for a number of years via the donation of fresh milk, yoghurt and desserts.

However the recent report highlighted not only the volume of this support, but the impact it had in the community.

Over the course of the calendar year, Lactalis Australia donated 1.25 million kg worth of product, which equated to 2.25 million meals. But perhaps the most astonishing figure was the “social return”, which Foodbank calculated at $28.7 million.

“Social return” points to the multiplier effect of fresh milk (and other nutritional foods) being provided to members of the community who otherwise, would go without.  The health implications (physical, and in turn, emotional and social) are enormous. Good nutrition in the community relieves pressure on the public health and welfare services.

As a business, we can all feel justifiably proud of the role we play in supporting Foodbank’s profound impact in the community.

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