Our Baking Center™ network, a powerful vector for solidarity projects!

Over the past 50 years, Lesaffre has built up a network of 51 Baking Centers™ across 5 continents. These application centers dedicated to bread-making are a formidable vector for charitable projects carried out as part of our ECHO solidarity program. It's true that the world of baking is characterized by a universal value: generosity! And what can we say when this generosity is put to work for the underprivileged? The result is powerful, impactful and sometimes surprising projects. Here are just a few examples from around the world: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, Morocco, France...

Brazil: become a baker to get out of the favelas

Being born in the favelas is all too often synonymous with complicated career prospects. In Brazil, Lesaffre has been working for several years with Arca do crecer, an association operating in the favelas, to set up a comprehensive personal and professional development program with baking at its heart. Our collaborators were invited to visit the favelas, and 22 of them volunteered to train 100 students each year.

 To date, more than 300 students have taken advantage of this opportunity and completed the course. 

China: training bakery teachers to revitalize struggling rural areas.

Tibet is a rural region facing great economic difficulties. The Chinese government has therefore launched a gigantic program to revitalize handicrafts and industry in this region. To achieve this, it has called on companies to help make its ambition a reality. Lesaffre responded by using the skills of its Baking Center™ to devise a bakery training program for 14 young Tibetan teachers. Lesaffre has responded by using the skills of its Baking Center™ to devise a bakery training program for 14 young Tibetan teachers. 
The advantage of this training program is that it can easily be replicated in other regions of Tibet.
 
 
 

Chile: supporting inclusion through baking

In Chile, 1 in 5 people are said to be in a precarious situation due to their state of health or disability (WHO statistics). Promoting the ability of disabled people to work is therefore a major challenge. Lesaffre has made a commitment to the Apertura para el Mañana(Opening to Tomorrow) association to strengthen the bakery training it provides as part of its inclusive academy. Our bakery experts have created a “bonus” module to reinforce this training and are helping to promote it to our local professional network to increase the chances of integration for these willing and hopeful disabled people.

A 3-year support program is planned to ensure optimum impact. 

 

Morocco: helping women achieve financial independance

In Morocco, more than 20% of women are in a vulnerable situation, according to the Moroccan High Commission for Planning: alone and/or unemployed, they also have to look after their children. In 2023, Lesaffre therefore decided to take action and invest alongside the Union of Feminists of Tangier to help 16 women in difficulty to enter the professional world and become more economically independent. For 2 weeks, our bakery experts welcomed these women in precarious situations, introducing them to baking and helping them to prepare their Curriculum Vitae so that they could apply to our bakery customers for an advanced training course.

Working together for these women, we help them on the road to financial independence.

 

Egypt: baking, a language understood by the deaf and dumb

Often marginalized, deaf and mute people find it hard to integrate into society, and their abilities hard to be recognized. What if baking, like music, was a universal language? That’s the gamble Lesaffre took in Egypt, mobilizing its collaborators to take on 12 disabled candidates, selected in conjunction with associations throughout the country. In all, 4,944 hours of tuition were given on 21 subjects relating to the life of the company, including bakery training, quality, safety, sales, marketing, IT… A wonderful project that brought together many of our collaborators, united around our values of solidarity, and enabled us to showcase the talents of these slightly different people!

 

In France: bakery training in prison, the hope of a new start

The SAS Formationassociation has developed a training program in a prison environment, leading to a baker’s diploma. One of our Baking Center™ experts collaborated with the trainer, providing technical support as well as access to our professional network to facilitate the professional reintegration of released prisoners. Robert, one of the beneficiaries of this training, tells us: “Providing good loaf in a prison is a daily event for the inmates. By making this loaf, we’ve gone from anonymity to fame! It’s a strangely pleasant feeling that makes us proud…”. And it’s this pride and sense of usefulness to others that is now guiding some of them towards a new job.

Today, 42 inmates are trained each year in the 7 prisons participating in this program in Northern France. 

In Argentina: viennese pastries, a source of additional income

Many households are looking for additional income to ensure better living conditions for their families. It is in this context, and in collaboration with the Casita San José association, that we have the opportunity to take part in various actions with local communities located not far from our factory. Our bakery expertise has enabled us to organize regular Viennese pastries workshops: a unique opportunity for our collaborators and the local population to get together over the long term.

 Thanks to these workshops, the participants not only give pleasure to young and old alike, but also take advantage of the opportunity to resell some of their brioches to supplement their income.