Every time you shop with us, you’re shopping for the good of people and planet
As a 100% Not-for-Profit Social & Environmental Enterprise we are not your ordinary health food store & cafe - every purchase you make helps fund social & environmental projects.
We take pride in donating a portion of our profits annually to selected local organisations that do amazing work to protect, restore and rehabilitate our precious community, environment and wildlife. Learn more about the projects we've supported over the last few years below...
Our 2022 Donations, Disaster Relief and Social Impact
Since becoming established as an NFP in 2016, Santos Organics has donated more than $330K to over 30 local community and environmental organisations in the Northern Rivers region. During recent years there has been strain on our profit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and increased cost of goods and freight costs, in addition to natural disasters and fuel price increases, making our donation to profit ratio significantly greater.
Despite these challenging times, we are extremely proud to be able to continue with our major donations. These, alongside timely and much needed disaster relief donations, have supported some outstanding initiatives and projects by local environmental and social support organisations during 2021 and into 2022.
The challenge of devastating flooding and its social impact in our region was faced head on by our team who, amidst the chaos of blackouts, and phone and internet outages, kept our stores open to service our community with essentials. Our Marketing Manager and B2B Manager rallied with wholehearted support by providing and organising with our suppliers free cleaning products and donating food to various cook-up hubs (incl. Bangalow Food Hub, Conscious Ground, Beach Hotel Byron Bay, Bay Grocer/100 Mile Table, and Peace Love & Vegetables) and distribution centres (incl. The Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre/The Hub, Lismore Koori Mail, C3 Church Byron, and Lennox Head Community Centre). The amazing chefs in the prep kitchens and local businesses donated their time to prepare huge volumes of meals for those in need and for the emergency workers who worked so hard during the first few weeks after the floods. The Santos Organics chefs cooked over a hundred organic hot pots to fuel volunteers and people in need via Mullumbimby Civic Hall and we made smoothies to keep our community nourished with organic goodness.
A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to the following amazingly generous suppliers, some of which were impacted themselves - Eco Farms, Pure Harvest, Trade Winds, Slater Farms, Sanmik Food, Olive Green Organics, Desert Shadow, With Good Intentions, Soul Fresh, and Friday Hut Market Honey. These businesses stepped up unconditionally for our community and donated food and essentials for the Lismore, Mullumbimby, Ballina, and Wardell areas.
Luckily, as well as being able to respond quickly with support we were able to allocate a significant donation amount towards our community for flood relief and recovery as well as building local food security networks.
Flood relief and recovery support:
- $8K in product and material costs over a period of 2 months
- $2K spent on volunteer support for local farms
- $8K allocated to Santos Organics team members whose homes were inundated to help them get back on their feet
- Emotional support to customers on the shop floor
- Donation of naturopathic remedies for flood-affected customers
- $25K in seed money will be utilised for a food security localisation program, increasing food availability and building resilience for our community
Santos Organics Team Contribution
We are incredibly proud of our Santos Organics team, many of whom choose to donate 1% of their wage each year to our Santos Organics Team Contribution Fund, supporting local not-for-profit organisations.
In 2022 our team directly supporting three local NFP organisations they voted for:
Brunswick Valley Landcare - $6K to support the Tyagarah Landcare group revegetating to prevent erosion along our coastal waterways like Simpsons Creek. Brunswick Valley Landcare is a long-standing, valued community group and works to see the Northern Rivers region build on its attributes of diverse vegetation, sub-tropical rainforests, sclerophyll forests, coastal heathlands, beaches and dunes, and its pristine waters.
Human Nature Adventure Therapy - $3K providing life-changing mental health support to young people in our region. Together with other generous donors, the Santos Organics Team Contribution allowed Human Nature to provide tailored support for young people who needed to heal after the floods. This included replacing essential equipment, providing young people with donated laptops and gear, and offering trauma-informed mental health support delivered door-to-door.
The Northern Rivers Community Foundation - $2K directed to a Resilience and Regeneration Fund for Northern Rivers Communities affected by the floods. The NRCF connects people and communities to tackle challenging social and environmental problems in the Northern Rivers. NRCF has the largest footprint of any community foundation in Australia; they cover areas from Tweed to Grafton, from the ocean all the way up past Kyogle, Woodenbong and Casino.
Annual community donations - $5K supporting a range of local initiatives, events and other not-for-profits:
Story Dogs (education), Living School Excursion (built a native orchard), Spell (tree planting), Green Goddess Farm flood support (pre March Flood), Clean up Australia Day (money + volunteers), WIRES (animal welfare), Front up for Frontliners (health workers), and Future Feeders (farmers), to name few.
For Santos Organics, localisation is integral to the repair of our ecosystems and to building resilient communities. The social impact we can make goes beyond direct funding of NFP’s and local projects. Santos Organics is committed to supporting the prosperity and well-being of local people and has contributed to the local economy on a consistent and ongoing basis.
In addition to providing direct employment to over 70 team members, we support the local economy through prioritising local suppliers, organic farmers, makers, and artisans promoting a circular economy and building community resilience and local food networks, which contributed $6.9 million in local products purchased in our community, meaning over 70% of our purchases are also supporting local distributors, suppliers and artisans.
Our 2021 major donations have been directed to some amazing local environmental projects
A core strategic focus for Santos Organics is supporting our local environment, and in 2021 we are doing so by allocating our major donations to support the below environmental projects. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates on the progress of these important projects!
Wildlife Safe Havens (run in partnership between Brunswick Valley Landcare and Wildbnb Wildlife Habitat) - $25K for creating hollow habitat for some key endangered precious wildlife species
We are thrilled to support Wildlife Safe Havens, a project that delivers immediate habitat support for threatened species reliant on tree hollows to safely breed. The Byron Shire is a region with high biodiversity values, yet it features a distinct lack of natural old-growth hollows to support the range of species requiring such conditions to breed. The displacement brought about by the 2019 – 2020 bushfires has exacerbated this habitat crisis. Wildlife Safe Havens redresses the hollow shortage by installing artificial nesting hollows (tailored to individual threatened species needs), ensuring our precious wild species are protected for generations to come.
The donation from Santos Organics has been allocated to support the following threatened species in the Byron Shire, which were selected in consultation with leading local ecologists and NSW Saving our Species:
- Glossy Black-Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus lathami)
- Greater Glider (Petauroides volans)
- Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua)
- Sooty Owl (Tyto tenebricosa)
- Masked Owl (Tyto novahollandiae)
ReForest Now – $10K for planting 2,000 trees locally
We are excited to continue our partnership with ReForest Now following some successful years of working together. ReForest Now is a Byron Bay based reforestation organisation, created by the need for a comprehensive not-for-profit model of reforestation and regeneration in Australia. This year our $10K donation will go towards planting 2,000 trees in the local area.
Friends of the Koala – $8K to support with core operational expenses
Friends of the Koala (FOK) is a non-governmental organisation, committed to conserving koalas and preserving and enhancing their habitat, particularly in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. In doing this FOK aim to make a key contribution to Australia’s biodiversity. Our support ensures that FOK can continue their important work that covers:
- Rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing of recovered koalas
- Protecting and enhancing koala habitat
- Educating the community about issues affecting koalas
- Advocating on the behalf of koalas
- Assisting relevant research
In 2020 our major donations helped the environment recover from the bushfires
After the devastating bushfires in the summer of 2019-2020 we wanted to be a part of the solution, so we chose to allocate our major donations to help our natural environment recover, by supporting the following environmental projects:
ReForest Now – $10K for planting 2,000 trees at the local Wanganui bush fire site
Wilson’s Creek just north of Byron Bay / west of Mullumbimby was affected in the 2019/2020 bushfires. This region is of key ecological importance being part of the regions remnant rainforest, The Big Scrub Rainforest. ReForest Now was working with local landcare and bush regenerators to clear burnt remains, and then began planting native subtropical trees where they once stood.
Our support enabled planting of approximately 2,000 out of the total 10,000 trees ReForest now planted across three sites within Wanganui.
Friends of the Koala – $10K to support with core operational expenses
Friends of the Koala (FOK) is a non-governmental organisation, committed to conserving koalas and preserving and enhancing their habitat, particularly in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. With the devastating number of injured wildlife during the 2019/2020 bushfires FOK’s work was more important than ever, hence Santos Organics decided to partner with FOK to support with their core operational expenses with a donation of $10,000.
Rainforest Rescue – $20K to protect & preserve the unprotected Daintree Lowlands
Rainforests are sadly under constant threat from development and climate change. Preventing future disasters by helping to protect and restore our precious rainforests is a key priority for Santos Organics, and to achieve this we partnered with Rainforest Rescue and donated $20,000 to enable land purchase and restoration of 4,000 square metres of unprotected Daintree lowland rainforest.
Rainforest Rescue is a small not-for-profit conservation organisation accomplishing significant conservation outcomes in the unprotected Daintree lowlands and we are excited to work with them to protect the world’s most ancient rainforest. The Daintree is also the most biodiverse place in Australia, so protecting this land is a unique opportunity that also extends protection to thousands of species of wildlife, many unique to Australia and many that are at risk.
Emergency response - $10K split between WIRES & NSWRFS
We also made two Emergency Response donations in November 2019 – donating $5K to NSW RFS helping those risking their lives on the frontline and $5K to Wires helping our precious wildlife in need.
Our funded projects in 2019
The 2019 Santos Organics Major Donations of a total of $31,500 were awarded to support the following worthy projects:
- Sea Shepherd – Marine and plastic debris clean-up on Moreton Island in aid of ocean wildlife protection $9,000
- ReForest Now – Nursery development at the Mullumbimby Community Gardens for rainforest regeneration projects $6,500
- Hope for Health – Equipment for transforming indigenous health in the Northern Territory $5,000
- Future Dreamers – 4 regional workshops to improve the mental health and resilience of at risk and disadvantaged girls $5,000
- Surfers for Cetaceans – Website upgrade for communication of ocean wildlife protection $3,000
- Disabled Surfers Association – 5 surf events for community members with a disability and volunteers $3,000
We loved working with these awesome environmental and social not-for-profit organisations throughout 2019 to help them make the world a better place.
Our funded projects in 2018
Five local organisations were announced as the recipients of $40,000 in grant funding provided by Santos Organics in our 2018 round of major donations.
The funding saw environmental investment injected into the strengthening of the Northern Rivers Young Farmers Alliance’s website platform to support young farmers, infrastructure development at Byron Bay Herb Nursery, materials required to develop the Byron Bay Reforestation Project, and funds to support the Repower Byron Shire project driven by the collaborative effort of Zero Emissions Byron, COREM and Enova Energy.
Further to these projects, local charity and social project Comfort for Kids gained funding for a two-part program to support 200 vulnerable Northern Rivers children with sleep support, and an online course for the parents and carers to better understand the health benefits of high quality sleep.
Our funded projects in 2017
In May 2017 $40,000 was donated to enhance the environment followed by another $30,000 donated to local environmental projects in September 2017. Some examples of the projects we supported:
- Mullumbimby Community Gardens – Kitchen Upgrade $13,096
- Byron Hinterland Seed Savers – Perennial Food Hub & Seed Registry $5,000
- Mullumbimbees – Amateur Bee-Keeping Resource Centre – $2,900
- Federal Childrens Community Centre – Food Forest Rehabilitation and Expansion w/ Training Programs – $9,000
Thank you to all our customers who make these donations possible simply by shopping at Santos Organics. Together we are the guiding light of conscious change for good food, healthy living & environmental action.