Sainsbury’s is proud to announce its continued commitment to supporting Black communities by donating over £1 million across charities, businesses and social enterprises that support the Black community.
In July 2020, Sainsbury’s committed to take action and stood together with its Black colleagues and customers to tackle racism and drive change. Over the last year the retailer has joined the Black British Network to help improve inclusivity and representation across the business, set new Black, ethnically diverse and gender targets for 2024 to improve diversity in senior roles, and tripled its investment in the development of ethnically diverse colleagues. 1,400 senior leaders also completed race fluency training, helping them to talk confidently about race and ethnicity and understand the experiences of our ethnically diverse colleagues creating a foundation for change.
Sainsbury’s is continuing to build on its commitment this year by donating to selected partners who each focus on a key area that needs addressing in Black communities. To kick off the donations, Sainsbury’s is partnering with Show Racism the Red Card, the UK’s biggest anti-racism educational charity. Sainsbury’s support will allow the charity to provide new educational resources to every school in England, Scotland, and Wales for the first time in its 25-year history – a total of 30,892 schools.
This will be the first of over £1 million in donations that Sainsbury’s will make over the next year to organisations tackling racism, social mobility, food insecurity and supporting Black education and businesses. Any remaining funding is to be invested through local partners tackling food poverty within Black communities.
Simon Roberts, CEO of Sainsbury’s, said: “Making progress against the commitments we have made to our Black colleagues and customers is something that we are focused on all year round, but I always look forward to us coming together in October to show support and to celebrate the Black community. As one of the UK’s biggest retailers, we know we can use our size and scale to make a real difference to Black communities, driving education and long-term change in our society. We’re delighted that we can play our part and support through donations which have real impact.
“We all have a responsibility to help build an equal society, free from racial discrimination and as a business of 189,000 colleagues serving millions of customers each week, together we are committed to lead and enable positive change.”
Paul Kearns, Deputy Chief Executive of Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) said: “This support from Sainsbury’s will mean that, for the first time in our 25-year history, SRtRC educational resources can be used in every school across England, Scotland and Wales. Teachers will have a bank of materials to help them focus on empathy building, increasing understanding, building resilience to racist ideas, and encouraging critical thinking among their pupils.
“This last year has reminded us of all the heart-breaking effects that racism can have on an individual, a family, a community, a nation, and the wider world. We will not solve this problem alone, we need to build alliances and partnerships, and working with Sainsbury’s to educate young people and supporting teachers will help to improve lives and effect positive change.”
Sainsbury’s has also recently adopted The Halo Code, the UK’s first Black hair code which protects employees who come to work with natural hair and hairstyles associated with their racial, ethnic, and cultural identities.
Further to this, the supermarket is also working to ensure its ranges reflect the local communities it serves and has added over 50 new products to its African and Caribbean ranges which are due to land in store from March next year. Products include a range of snacks, drinks, condiments, and spices.
As part of its Future Brands programme, Sainsbury’s is also working with smaller Black owned businesses, providing mentoring, advice, and guidance at critical stages as they grow, to get them supermarket ready. Sainsbury’s is also working with Black owned businesses to launch new ranges of Health and Beauty products, such as the Dr Shea skincare range, which launched in June.
Sainsbury’s continues to work with Wilfred Emmanuel Jones, more commonly known as the Black Farmer, for a second year in a row selling his Jerk Sausages in selected stores. Customers can also find his authentic recipe on the Sainsbury’s website here.