Talking Brand Activism with our Australian Partners
Dr. Bronner’s is now supporting organizations making a positive impact across Australia by making regular donations to the country’s progressive non-profits through All-One! Australia, a program of our local distributor, Lateral Food.
In 2012, Tammy Seligmann joined Lateral Food, the company her parents founded, and is now General Manager. Andrea Cook has supported Dr. Bronner’s in Australia since she began working as Marketing Manager at Lateral Food in 2008. We asked them some questions to gain insight on the momentum the All-One! Australia initiative has gained in 2018. Here’s what they had to say:
What’s the goal of the All-One! Australia initiative? How did it come about?
Tammy: Our All-One! Australia initiative came about to bring Dr. Bronner’s Cosmic Principle, “Fund and Fight for What’s Right,” alive, down under. We focus on providing meaningful financial support to causes, organizations, and people making positive change in their community and to protect the environment. We want to help fund passionate, effective, change-making efforts.
What causes and organizations are you supporting?
Andrea: To date we have supported groups working effectively across a range of causes. In animal welfare we have raised funds for Edgar’s Mission, Sea Shepherd Australia, Voiceless and Where Pigs Fly. We are proud to assist One Voice, a support group for people experiencing homelessness; counselling and referral service Q Life, which works towards better health outcomes in the LGBT community; environmental activists with Take 3 and the Australian Conservation Foundation; and refugee aid organization Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. These are all positive and effective, change-making organizations making a real difference.
This year we’ve continued to look for mission-aligned, direct action groups which have kindness, fairness, equality, and “doing what’s right” at their core, and for whom our donation will make a difference.
For the first time this year, we chose to sponsor the Transitions Film Festival, a visionary film program dedicated to spotlighting the complex challenges, cutting-edge ideas, creative innovations and mega-trends that are redefining what it means to be human. The festival is a not-for-profit event, that presents a series of positive, solutions-focused films and showcases cutting-edge ideas from around the world, along with the creative, academic, governmental, community, and business leaders who are creating beneficial change. Dr. Bronner’s is proud to have donated to the making of the film, Evolution of Organic,in 2017 and we were pleased to be a presenting partner of its screenings at the festival in Australia. Evolution of Organictells the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement, and looks with optimism to the future of carbon farming and visions of regenerative organic agriculture.
How is the All-One! Australia Initiative getting the message out? How are customers and the broader community responding?
Tammy: With so many worthwhile causes from which to choose, we decided to start out simply by selecting six dedicated organizations per year for which to fundraise, across a broad range of areas including environment, animal welfare, LGBT counselling services, equality, and support for people experiencing homelessness. We have a “Deluxe Sample Pack” that we sell, and donate all the revenue from those sales to our chosen organization. The pack is promoted through our social channels and website, highlighting their great work, which helps raise awareness and much appreciated funds.
In supporting our All-One! Australia Initiative, we are fortunate as well to have had our friend Alexx Stuart (lowtoxlife.com) introduce the screening of Evolution of Organic during the Transitions Film Festival. We enjoy collaborations with Alexx, an advocate for all things she coins the “low tox life.” Alexx’s online course, Go Low Tox has educated thousands of people on how to live a life where we make positive choices when it comes to food, sustainability, personal care, home, and our mindset.
We are seeing that Dr. Bronner’s customers, as well as the broader community, are responding in ever increasing numbers by taking responsibility for the type of world in which we live and making positive changes within their sphere of influence. For instance, there is a groundswell of support currently for banning cages for egg producing hens and single-use plastic shopping bags—some Australian states have already put these bans into effect. In Australia, social and environmental consciousness and positive action is no longer seen as the sole domain of radicals and greenies.
It is heartening and affirming to see progress like this across the country.
Tell us a little bit about your own journey with these causes. Is there a certain focus that you are really passionate about, personally?
Tammy: Two of the organizations I am especially passionate about supporting are the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre and One Voice, a support group for people experiencing homelessness.
The asylum seeker issue is particularly personal as I feel there are similarities with asylum seekers and my own ancestors and people from my community who escaped from Nazi controlled Europe in the 1940s. Asylum seekers and refugees are in need of the support from countries like Australia where there is no war and we are free to express ourselves. We have a very short history in Australia and with the exception of Aboriginal people, we were all immigrants at one stage, so I think it is pertinent for the broader community to support those who did not have the good fortune of being born in Australia. In addition to supporting the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre through our Deluxe Sample Packs, we have also donated products to the Centre including soap and toothpaste which are essential for new families when they arrive here.
The same is true for One Voice. Homelessness is becoming an epidemic in major cities in Australia due to the high cost of living. By offering monetary support and also donating personal care essentials such as soap and toothpaste we are positively impacting lives.
Andrea: I feel passionate about doing my best to make informed, ethical choices as I go about my life on a day to day basis and am drawn to causes supporting animal welfare and the environment.
I have been taking an active interest in a topic of much public and government discussion at present—the live export debate. Every year, Australia exports millions of live animals including cattle, sheep and buffalo, mostly to the Middle East. Conditions on board the export ships are often abhorrent examples of extended animal abuse. These deplorable conditions were recently made public. We are fortunate in Australia to have large, active animal welfare groups who are organizing mass rallies across Australia and who show supporters how to take action by lobbying elected government representatives. I am a keen supporter of these committed organizations who have relentless energy to put towards improving outcomes in animal welfare.
Recently I saw Chris Jordan’s brilliant film, Albatross, which I found not only visually stunning, but a jolting indication of the extent of plastic pollution in our oceans.
The global issue of ocean plastic pollution is close to the hearts of many Australians. It is estimated that over 85% of people living in Australia are within 50 kilometers (30 miles) of the ocean. Single use plastics are more widely than ever being shunned and legislated against. Reusable coffee cups and water bottles are used with increasing regularity and all Australian states save one have banned or are in the process of banning single-use plastic shopping bags. Local councils have begun banning single use plastics such as balloons, water bottles, bags, straws, and cups. I’m heartened by this progress.
The film was also a reminder to consider product and packaging lifecycles before I buy or consume anything. Every person, everyday can make a positive contribution to the health of our planet by considering the impact of their choices as a consumer and I am increasingly passionate about bringing thoughtfulness and positive action to that part of my day.
Tammy Seligmann is the General Manager at Lateral Food Corporation, which has been distributing Dr. Bronner’s in Australia since 2006. She lives in Melbourne and has three young girls that keep her very busy.
Andrea Cook has been Marketing Manager since 2008 at Lateral Food Corporation, Dr. Bronner’s distributor in Australia. Her ideal weekend involves getting out of the city with family, friends and a whole lot of vegetarian food.