Cindy Carpenter, Chair, The Bread & Butter Project

We could not think of a better recipient for the BCA's Big Impact Award than Woolworths.

When the pandemic struck and most of The Bread & Butter Project's cafe/restaurant sales fell away overnight we reached out to Woolworths for help because bread was flying off their shelves and we knew they were great advocates for refugee employment. With unbelievable speed for a national retailer dealing with a small local social enterprise bakery, we were suddenly stocked in over 15 Woolworths Metro stores. This has since expanded to 27 stores. This kept our ovens full and our trucks delivering and allowed us to retain employment for our 55 employees, many of them refugees and asylum seekers who would not have been eligible for welfare support. Here is a video made at that time.

Since those early days, the partnership with Woolworths has thrived. In November we launched our first Bread Bar in Woolworths' Erskineville Metro store; the first time a national supermarket has outsourced its bakery to a third party, let alone a social enterprise! Woolworths entrusted The Bread & Butter Project with one of the most important sections in the supermarket -fortunately it has been a phenomenal success and will generate at least half a million dollars of sales and sustainably employ 4-5 refugee bakers/trainees.

We are immensely grateful to Woolworths and very much looking forward to expanding our partnership so together we can support many more refugees into sustainable employment in an industry suffering chronic labour shortages in Australia.