DANONE LAUNCHES ITS BRAND NEW VOLUNTEER PROGRAM: A FIRST FOR THE COMPANY!

BOUCHERVILLE, QC, June 20, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Danone Inc. in Canada today announced the establishment of its first-ever volunteer program that will allow its employees to combine field-based and business-based volunteerism with local organizations. Danone is dedicated to developing a process that orients and guides employees in all aspects of volunteerism, a clear policy that brings together the energy of each employee while ensuring that the entire process is supported by all levels of the company.

"The program we are launching today reflects our vision of being a responsible company, a vision that dictates we must be a company that is implicated in the development of its community and contribute to improving its quality of life," declared Louis Frenette, President and CEO of Danone Canada.

Danone has decided to pair its employees who wish to perform field-based volunteerism with the Club des petits déjeuners du Québec, a cause that has been dear to the company's heart for many years.  Those employees wishing to be involved with business-based volunteerism will be matched with Business Volunteers, an organization that facilitates the matching of employee volunteers with not-for profit organizations.

"This is an outstanding initiative from Danone that will only serve to enrich and strengthen our longstanding relationship, even more when you consider that voluntary work is the basis of our organization with 3500 volunteers needed each day," added Daniel Germain, President and Founder of the Club des petits déjeuners du Québec.

The program is mutually beneficial for Danone and the local organizations it will be helping. It will allow Danone to become closer to its community through its employees while they develop managerial skills they can transfer to the company. The organizations will be benefitting from the expertise and know-how of Danone employees.

"We are extremely happy that a leading company such as Danone has joined our organization for this project," declared Ugo Dionne, Founder of Business Volunteers.  He added, "There is no question that Danone employees will acquire new skills and develop expertise that will be beneficial to their work."

Both traditional volunteerism and a more business or business-based approach are strongly encouraged by Danone. A concrete example of the program is a project by Danone Project Engineer Marc Barrette who, in September, will be cycling for 24 hours without putting his feet on the ground to raise funds for the Club des petits déjeuners du Québec.

About the Club des petits déjeuners du Québec

Since the founding of the Club des petits déjeuners du Québec in 1994, Daniel Germain has made a point of not labeling children with the term "poor." That is why the Club has always targeted disadvantaged neighbourhoods, as opposed to specific children. Their objective is to give all children an equal chance to succeed in school and this starts with not stigmatizing them.  The prevailing atmosphere of the Club is to allow children to enjoy themselves while sharing a healthy breakfast with their friends.  Eating in a friendly atmosphere at school has been shown to reduce absences and visits to the school nurse, limit tardiness, and calm aggression. Last year, thanks to donations received from across the province and to various partnerships, 3500 volunteers served more that 2.5 million meals to 18,000 students throughout 297 Quebec schools.

About Business Volunteers

Founded in 2006 by Ugo Dionne, President of Synesis & Versalys Training, and Marie-Pierre Dufort, President of Synetik, Business Volunteers' mission is to create a link between business people and community and cultural organizations in order to allow business people to offer their services in their field of expertise and to thus contribute to the rise and effectiveness of community and cultural organizations everywhere in Quebec.  Business Volunteers is financially supported by many organizations, including Centraide of Greater Montreal. To this day, more than 2000 volunteers registered, 650 organizations have used their services and 840 pairing completed.

About Danone Inc. in Canada

Danone Inc. in Canada is a member of the Danone Group, a world agrifood leader. As a manufacturer and distributor of quality products that combine good taste and healthy ingredients, Danone is currently the largest Canadian producer of yogurt and other fresh dairy products. Danone believes that its actions should be aimed directly at improving the lives of Canadians both today and tomorrow. For more information, please visit www.danone.ca .

SOURCE Danone Canada

For further information:

Source: Danone inc.
Renseignements :  Marie-Christine Garon
  Edelman
  514 315-1981
  marie-christine.garon@edelman.com 

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