Here at Cytoplan we are proud of our heritage. The ethos that the company was first built upon has remained a constant and unchanged motive in the day to day running of Cytoplan. That motive is to help with ‘optimising the health of the nation’, and this is also the aspiration of the charitable foundation that owns our shares; The AIM Foundation.
The AIM Foundation are the major shareholders of Cytoplan, and the core objectives of this organisation are aimed at helping others. This ideology exists through Cytoplan enabling us to predominantly concern ourselves with our company goals and do what we believe to be right by our customers, as opposed to being concerned with how much profit we are making. We take an enormous amount of pride in this fact and the spine of Cytoplan as a company isn’t based around what we can do for ourselves, but what we can do for others.
As our charitable work is such an integral part of Cytoplan, we feel it is of paramount importance to give you – our dedicated customers – an insight into how this part of the business is structured. So let us begin by looking at the charitable foundation that owns us.
The charitable foundation that owns Cytoplan is the AIM Foundation and we are a product of their ideology.
They are an organisation concerned with nutrition and health projects all over the world, as well helping those less able to help themselves in various communities in the UK (e.g. the Essex Community Foundation).
The AIM Foundation are the 100% shareholders of Cytoplan, so we consider it imperative to give our customers an insight into the charitable activities of AIM and thus where your money could be going.
The following examples illustrate some of the charitable activities that AIM have been – and still are – involved in.
“Jubilee 2000 was a global campaign that led ultimately, to the cancellation of more than $100 billion of debt owed by 35 of the poorest countries”
The Jubilee 2000 campaign was an international coalition movement involving 40 countries, aiming to free third world debts by the year 2000. These debts were predominantly owed to three main groups: Western governments, global financial institutions and the World Bank.
By the year 2000 – when the campaign disbanded – 21 million people from 155 countries had signed the Jubilee 2000 petition, a quite incredible figure when considering the controversial subject matter of global debt. But despite the success of the petition and $100 billion in debt having been written off, the job was – and still is – far from complete.
In 2001 the jubilee 2000 campaign split into an array of organisations that look to tackle the worldwide problem of Third World debts. These organisations campaign on a global level to engage the same problems with which Jubilee 2000 were concerned.
Sustrans National Cycle Network
“Sustrans is a leading UK Charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make everyday”
The National Cycle Network is a series of cycle routes providing convenient, relaxing and sustainable transport throughout the country. The initial concept was set up in 1977 by a charity called ‘Sustrans’, with the philosophy of endeavouring “to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists in the city”.
The first step in 1984 was to construct a cycle route along a disused railway path. This route ran from Bath to Bristol and its phenomenal success encouraged the formation of other routes all over the UK. The network now covers around 14,700 miles around the UK and the ‘Sustrans’ website states that the system has been a “catalyst for reversing the decline of walking and cycling for almost 20 years”.
The overall vision of the network is to see 4 out of 5 journeys being made by bike, foot or public transport by the year 2020.
Essex Community Foundation
Every county in England has some form of diversity. Although this diversity is often a positive characteristic of a society, a branch of this diversity is often inequality: where one community is affluent, another is on the verge of poverty. In Essex this is an extensive problem.
In 1996, The AIM Foundation worked alongside the CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) to start up the Essex Community Foundation; an organisation aiming to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in the county by distributing grants on behalf of a wide range of donors.
It was apparent that a charitable foundation could provide the whole county with a more thorough understanding of the vulnerability that some areas were enduring. For those who wanted to help, their donations were channelled effectively, focusing on areas that were most susceptible.
Since 1996 ECF has distributed 5000 grants totalling £20 million.
The AIM Foundation has played a pivotal role in all three of these successful campaigns described above, and many others on a global level.
The Charitable Work of Cytoplan
The main principles of AIM exist also through Cytoplan and we like to think we are a company who involve ourselves in the world in various ways. In whatever way we can help – whether it is of our own charitable initiative or helping an external organisation – we always strive to do so.
Our Work with HETN
‘Health empowerment Through Nutrition’ (HETN) are a UK registered charity that are at the ‘forefront of exploring the relationship between nutrition and chronic disease’, and are also prominent in raising awareness of the importance of sustaining sufficient levels of nutrients for optimum health.
Type B malnutrition (also known as Hidden Hunger) is something that affects more than 2 billion people.
- Over tens of thousands of years, human beings developed sustainable ways to feed themselves, but modern farming methods have conspired to maximise yields at the expense of nutrient content.
- As a result, our food contains a fraction of the essential micronutrients it contained one hundred years ago. And the problem is compounded by a food industry wedded to optimising shelf life and taste through milling, refining, processing, additives and the extensive use of sugar, corn syrup and hydrogenated oils (trans fats).
Although a worldwide problem, the severity of Hidden Hunger differs from continent to continent. It is at its most extreme in Africa, where – as stated on the HETN website – ‘primary micro-nutrient deficiencies are widespread and severe’.
As a result of these deficiencies, immunity is compromised and, to put it lightly, chronic diseases are commonplace. Since 2006, Cytoplan have been working alongside HETN to try and tackle this problem.
So far this work at HETN has been prevalent in South Africa, where ‘Hidden Hunger’ is rife. They have helped to raise the profile of a very effective porridge enhanced with food nutrients called ‘e’pap’. This is the most effective product currently available in the world where malnutrition is present, but there is still some way to go to persuade the established suppliers that this is the case. In particular, work with Tuberculosis (TB) alongside SANTA (South Africa TB Support Organisation) has shown it to be very helpful with giving TB sufferers a better chance of survival and more productive lives, as well as helping make their medication more effective.
World Land Trust
The World Land Trust is an international conservation charity that has helped to protect over 500,000 acres of the most biologically important and threatened habitats all over the world, and here at Cytoplan we are avid supporters of their work.
Since its formation in 1989, the WLT has funded partner organisations around the world which in turn create reserves and give permanent protection to threatened habitats and their wildlife.
Here are some global projects that the WLT have strived to successfully complete:
- Programme for Belize – WLT’s first project presented the challenge of linking development to improve people’s standard of living and conservation. The project was a great success and by 1996 more than 250,000 acres (101,175 ha) of land had been saved.
- Rainforest Action Costa Rica – The second project of the WLT focused on the rainforests of Costa Rica. The Trust helped purchase an area of 5,000 acres (2,023 ha), which is now incorporated into Corcovado National Park.
- Philippine Reef & Rainforest Project – The third project of the WLT gave supporters an opportunity to become a ‘founder owner’ of the tropical ‘paradise’ Island of Danjugan, saving it from housing development. In 2000 the loan had been repaid and fundraising completed.
Since 2010, the WLT has used our donations for urgent land purchase and protection in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil and the critically threatened Choco Rainforests in western Colombia.
At Cytoplan we place huge emphasis and importance on being charitably active all year round, whether it’s a global campaign involving external organisations or a simple office collection among employees, each carries the same weight of importance. On average we bestow around £3000 to local charities on an annual basis. Here are a few examples of how our donations accumulate throughout the year:
- Cytoplan ‘wore red’ for ‘Wear it Red Day’ to raise money for the British Heart Foundation – we raised money by selling cakes, having a company sweepstake and also donating £1 each for our red clothing.
- The sales office takes part in the annual ‘Walk of Worcestershire’ in aid of Acorn’s Children’s Hospice. This is a 10.5 mile walk starting at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern to Worcester Racecourse.
- For Comic Relief we hosted a “Bake Off”, where staff created red nose themed cakes which were anonymously submitted for judging and then all sold off.
At Cytoplan, we also encourage a charitable attitude among our employees. We support any charitable work that is undertaken on an individual basis by doubling anything that is raised.
It’s Not All About Money
At Cytoplan, charitable donations aren’t always in a financial form. On many occasions we have made nutritional contributions as a form of disaster aid or simply as a means of helping to keep people nourished when the situation demands it. We understand the importance of optimising our nutrient intake to sustain our immunity and keep us healthy, so here are a few examples of nutritional donations that Cytoplan have made over the years:
In 2007, Ann Cook began ‘Operation Yuletide’, a regime that started by sending parcels of food to Ann’s son and his regiment in Basra, Iraq. It went down as a massive success but its feasibility was in question when some of the regiment began to get stomach upsets because they didn’t have the means to prepare the food properly. This is when Ann was referred to us, and we began to work alongside ‘Operation Yuletide’ and send boxes of vitamins and minerals to help keep the soldiers fit and healthy. These donations have accumulated to around 30,000 multivitamins and ‘Operation Yuletide’ was a major success.
In November 2010, staff at Cytoplan decided to help a charity called ‘Facing Africa’ which deals with the awful infection ‘Noma’. This disease causes severe facial disfigurement and affects children generally aged under 6 in South East Asia, South America and mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that an appalling 90% of these victims die, and this horrific disease starts in children who are malnourished and live in poverty.
At first we made up a vitamin and mineral protein-rich formula to give to hospitals that were operating on children with Noma. The results of this formula were fantastic and the children suffering had wonderful post-operative recoveries and no infections at all. We also raised around £1000 to buy tracksuits for the children who had the surgery, providing practical, clean clothing for the children during the day while they recovered after surgery.
Following the devastating floods in the Philippines we sent a consignment of 500,000 multivitamins and minerals to The Philippine Christian Foundation. This aid was distributed accordingly to impoverished families, particularly the elderly and children.
Every customer who purchases our products, whether it be once, twice or ten times a year, is helping us to try and help those who are much less fortunate than ourselves. You may not realise it, but every time you buy from us, you are potentially helping someone else. We believe this is a sound business model: one that we are very proud of and one that hopefully, in time, will achieve the goals we have set ourselves, to improve the health of the nation and the rest of the world too! Our charitable work – both on a small and large scale – is testament to this.
We hope that this information has given you a small insight into the charitable structure of Cytoplan and the significant role it plays in the day to day running of the company. We hope you continue to support us in the future in whatever way you can.
If you have any questions regarding this article please do contact me (Amanda) by phone or email at any time.
Amanda Williams, Managing Director, Cytoplan Ltd
firstname.lastname@example.org, 01684 310099