Business has a big, healthy heart

2018-02-07 06:02
Pictured handing over the cheque in Cape Town are Deon Calthorpe (left, Willowton Group), Professor Pamela Naidoo (middle, CEO of The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa) and Tamsyn Pinn (Shoprite).PHOTO: supplied

Pictured handing over the cheque in Cape Town are Deon Calthorpe (left, Willowton Group), Professor Pamela Naidoo (middle, CEO of The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa) and Tamsyn Pinn (Shoprite).PHOTO: supplied

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THE work done by the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) was bolstered by the donation of R200 000 by the Willowton Group, Shoprite and Checkers, following a national fundraising campaign run in support of Heart Awareness Month.

The donation was handed over at a ceremony held at the HSFSA offices in Cape Town on December 22, 2017.

Pietermaritzburg-based Willowton Group — manufacturer of edible oils and a leading competitor in the South African fast-moving consumer goods’ industry — initiated the joint venture with Shoprite and Checkers in an effort to support healthy heart awareness. From September 18 to November 5, 2017, Willowton Group launched an exclusive pack of 1,2 kg Sunshine D 40% Fat Spread Tub, packaged with the Heart Mark Logo, and R1 from the sale of every pack was donated to the HSFSA.

“As a platinum sponsor of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Willowton Group is committed to contributing to the organisation’s impactful work where possible,” said Deon Calthrope of Willowton Group. “Non-communicable diseases cause more than 60% of deaths globally and the foundation runs a number of programmes to counter this devastating reality, which has such negative implications for the individual, families and the economy.

“We are on a quest to highlight the need for improved health and particularly the importance of a healthy heart.” Willowton Group was selected by the HSFSA as a platinum sponsor for the next three years and, as a result, all Heart Mark approved products — Sunfoil and Sunshine D — are displayed with a specially designed platinum seal that endorses the initiative. Participation in the programme is a unique opportunity reserved for leading companies within a particular category and is the most prestigious distinction bestowed on an HSFSA partner.

Across the eight food categories within the programme, there is one platinum sponsor per category, and Willowton Group was selected for the Spreads and Oils category. “The platinum sponsorship serves to acknowledge the contributions being made by Willowton Group and enables the foundation, through initiatives such as these, to continue its fight against vascular diseases,” said Calthrope.

According to the HSFSA, cardio-vascular disease is the world’s leading killer, and in South Africa, it is second only to HIV/Aids. However, 80% of cases are caused by poor lifestyle choices and are therefore, preventable, something the HSFSA is trying to remedy. In addition, South Africans experience some of the highest blood pressure rates worldwide, with one in three adults suffering from the silent killer, 75% of whom are unaware of their condition. And obesity is also on the rise with half of adults, and a quarter of all children, in the country classified as overweight.

Professor Pamela Naidoo, CEO of the HSFSA, said that the organisation’s partnership with Willowton Group is invaluable to furthering the foundation’s main goal of reducing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease.

“The foundation encourages risk factor reduction which includes risks related to unhealthy eating,” said Naidoo.


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