There was an article published in the Guardian today that we’re pretty disappointed with. We want to make a few things absolutely clear.
The innocent Foundation exists to fund rural development projects in some of the world’s poorest countries. Since it began in 2004 it has achieved an incredible amount, supporting 37 projects, committing almost £1.3m in funding, which in turn has allowed our charity partners to leverage a further £5.8m from other funding sources such as the EU. There are many things we’ve achieved over the years, but helping more than 340,000 people to live a better life, is probably the single thing we’re most proud of.
The Foundation is a professionally run charity that meets all the relevant legal requirements. The finances of the Foundation are managed conservatively, always maintaining sufficient funds to meet all our NGO funding commitments whilst making sure we have enough funds in reserve to mean the projects do not suffer if the business has lower or no profit years.
As we promise on our packaging, we donate 10% of our profits to charity (sometimes more than 10%). Like many businesses, the last few years have been tough but despite not making a profit in 2008 and 2009 we still donated a total of £273,000 to charity (most of which went to Age UK – a charity we’ve supported through the Big Knit).
It’s not likely we’re going to make a profit this year. We’re trying to grow our business, and we’re investing in this, but nevertheless we made a decision a few months ago to donate £250,000 to the innocent Foundation to make sure that it can continue to support new projects going forward.
The innocent Foundation is something that everyone who works for innocent is immensely proud of. We are committed to supporting the work it does and committed to running it professionally. To suggest otherwise, and infer that the Foundation is run half-heartedly or without proper care, is simply not true, or fair.