Tate & Lyle


Tate & Lyle aims to play a positive role in all the communities in which we operate. Over the years we have developed a Group-wide community involvement policy that forms one of the core components underpinning our ethical behaviour. Our programme involves building long-term relationships with local partners to deliver a shared objective: establishing strong, safe and healthy communities by investing time and resources into projects that directly address local needs.


Our community partnerships are well supported by employees, many of whom take part in our programmes. Tate & Lyle’s community involvement benefits our employees by enhancing their own local community, offering significant personal development opportunities and making Tate & Lyle a company for which they are proud to work.

Each year we support around 300 organisations, ranging from long-established charities to fledgling community organisations. Community support takes many forms, depending on the needs of the organisation, and includes funding, employee volunteering, consultancy, donation of products and equipment and, for selected partners, free use of the Company’s warehousing, office accommodation and meeting room facilities.

Charitable donations

Our Corporate Donations Committee oversees community policy throughout the world. Our aims are to select projects that target local needs and deliver the most positive impact, and to ensure that ultimately our community involvement work reflects our broader responsibilities as a company. Our guidelines for funding and support are:

  • Education – 50%;
  • Environment – 25%;
  • Health – 15%; and
  • Arts – 10%.

Actual community spend by allocation

Year ended 31 March 2009

Actual community spend by allocation

In the financial year ended 31 March 2009, Tate & Lyle’s total worldwide charitable donations were £674,000, up from £642,000 in the previous year, while our total global pro bono contribution in goods and services is estimated to have been £221,000, down from £254,000 in the previous year. We support many initiatives and local organisations involved in community regeneration all around the world. Listed here is a selection from each region in 2008.


  • Community Links: a local charity working to regenerate the area of Newham in East London.
  • Community Food Enterprise: a social food outlet improving community access to fresh fruit and vegetables in the East London area.
  • Richard House Children’s Hospice: London’s first hospice for terminally ill children, which we have supported since it was founded in 1996.
  • East London Business Alliance: a regeneration agency for East London which connects business to local people, alongside public and community partners, to enable social, economic and infrastructure change.


  • United Way: employees from across the USA donate through the payroll to this organisation which gives money to local causes.
  • Education: Tate & Lyle gives regular support to a number of educational institutions including Brush College, Associated Colleges of Illinois, and Millikin and Purdue Universities.
  • Boys & Girls Club: sponsorship of a Decatur programme designed to inspire and enable young people to realise their full potential.


Our sugar business in Vietnam, Nghe An Tate & Lyle (NAT&L), supports the following programmes:

  • Roads: provincial and communal road maintenance in the NAT&L cane catchment area.
  • Schools: supplying text books and school stationery for under-privileged children and funding for outstanding students in primary, middle and high school.
  • University scholarships: funding for outstanding students studying agriculture disciplines.
  • Housing: contributing funds towards housing units for farmers and their families.

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Employee volunteering

Tate & Lyle employees around the world make huge efforts to support their local communities. Their involvement is vital to maintain the long-term good relationships we have developed with these communities; volunteering also brings skills and experience from the workplace into the community that corporate funding alone cannot achieve. Several of the organisations we support have been partners for over a decade.

Volunteering also brings benefits to Tate & Lyle. Employees tell us that they benefit hugely from community work, which helps them develop their skills and become more rounded as individuals. A strong volunteer network is vital to the success of our community involvement programme, and developing that network across Tate & Lyle is an important ongoing aim. Here we highlight some of our employees’ volunteering activities from around the world.


  • Educational visits: 1,000 students and 100 teachers visited Thames Refinery, Plaistow and Sugar Quay during 50 curriculum-based visits.
  • Gifted & Talented: Tate & Lyle continues to support the UK Government’s programme for gifted and talented children including, for secondary school students, a ‘Science Challenge’ and for primary school children a maths workshop.


  • Supporting universities: Tate & Lyle supports a number of research initiatives at local universities.
  • Agricultural Day at Lafayette: employees from our plants in Lafayette South and Sagamore volunteer to help run the local agricultural day each year.
  • Local fundraising and donations: many employees from across our plants support local causes with activities such as sponsored walks, food drives, and donating clothing, gifts and supplies for schools.

Managing our impact

Our aim is to ensure that all our sites around the world develop programmes in line with our community involvement policy, which is ratified by the Board. We continue to make progress in this, but there are different levels of activity reflecting the history of Tate & Lyle’s involvement in the area and the size of our presence.

In locations where we have operated for a long time, such as the East End of London, and the Decatur, Illinois area, we have long-running partnerships with local organisations and make a considerable contribution. In other areas where we have recently acquired sites or built new plants, our involvement is at an earlier stage. Our aim continues to be to share best practice and improve internal standards and reporting around the world so that all parts of the Group develop mutually beneficial long-term community partnerships.


While we do not actively seek or measure success in terms of awards won, we value the external recognition such awards convey. In 2008 we received a Silver Payroll Giving Award in the UK which is given to businesses who actively promote payroll giving in the workplace. We also received a bronze award for our support for Caravan, a UK charity set up to help support former employees of the food manufacturing and retail sales industries.


We continue to progress with integrating our community efforts around the world, and to focus particularly on sharing the benefits of our programmes with those operations newer to the Group.

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Actively supporting local charities and communities

Actively supporting local charities and communities

From helping disabled children ride horses in Singapore, to sponsored walks in the US and climbing mountains in the UK (pictured, employees doing the UK’s 3-Peaks Challenge), our employees everywhere can be found supporting local charities and communities. As well as Grouporganised events, many employees take part in activities on their own initiative, helping to ensure that we play a full and positive part in the local communities in which we operate.