Checkers Little Garden 2 Promoting Community Empowerment in South Africa
We shared the news a few months ago: Checkers Little Garden 2 has brought children and adults in South Africa a new opportunity to garden together. In 2020, the South African retailer gave away season-appropriate and bee-friendly seedling kits to families for growing herbs, vegetables, and flowers. The components of the seedling kits — such as pots, paper, and seeds — were also from South Africa.
Moreover, the loyalty campaign really contributed to empowering communities. For this second edition of Little Garden, Checkers and UNGA indeed created new employment opportunities by sourcing and producing the campaign locally.
Creating jobs and empowering South African women
Encouraging families to garden is great. Doing so while supporting local communities is even better! That is why Checkers asked UNGA to collaborate on rolling out a new Little Garden collectible promotion — locally produced this time. Each of the millions of Little Garden seedling kits was sourced and manufactured in South Africa, mostly by women.
“It is about empowerment. Because mostly, we are women and now we are able to be independent. We are just a variety of people coming from different places. We are just growing every day.”
– Dephney Ugueio, Team Managers at the Little Garden facility
UNGA and Checkers set up a local facility, worked with new local partners, and put together a team of more than 156 South Africans. Not only was a pop-up factory needed, but five other factories based in South Africa were also involved in the production of the Little Garden seedling kits.
“Setting up a supply chain in a new country and guaranteeing the quality of the product and production process was extremely challenging, especially because of Covid-19. But the outcome is phenomenal! Being able to give this promotion back in a country with such a high unemployment rate was a great initiative to be part of.”
– Monique Melissant, UNGA Head of Product Management
Planting the seeds for the future in South Africa
In addition to providing new job opportunities, Checkers and UNGA invested time and trust in people, providing special training and welcoming the local team into a well-equipped workplace. As Dephney Ugueio puts it, “Give a woman anything, a woman will make something out of it.”
This specialized training helped the employees ensure that the quality standards of the products were met. It also opened doors for many women and offered them a chance to get back into the job market with more experience and skills.
“Finding a local production facility with the capacity to manage the volumes required for an initiative such as Little Garden was a top priority for us, and we are especially pleased that it created much-needed employment for so many women.”
– Willie Peters, Checkers Marketing General Manager
Checkers not only enabled families to grow a little garden at home but also helped the South African community plant seeds for the future, something which was much appreciated by the local workforce. “Checkers has given me experience that I believe I can use in future,” shared the team leader, Innocentia Jila.
Watch Checkers Little Garden 2 video: