Garden Organic and Seeds of Change

The organic link between these two partners made their joint venture a natural fit.

It isn't only charities that campaign for social change. A small but vocal breed of corporates, such as Ben & Jerry's and Lush, are getting in on the act.

Seeds of Change, the organic food company owned by confectionery giant Mars, is one firm that does more than just advertise its wares. Its Dig Your Dinner campaign, launched in 2008, encourages people to grow their own organic food. So the company was very specific about what it wanted from a charity partner.

Garden Organic, the organic horticulture charity, was deemed to fit the profile. Justine Williams, director of income generation at the charity, says: "Seeds of Change was looking for an organisation that had some appeal to the audience it tries to attract: fairly affluent, middle-class shoppers who probably go to Waitrose and are over 35. But it also needed to be sure that whoever it worked with supported organic growing."

Seeds of Change donated 1 per cent of its net sales to Garden Organic, which amounted to £100,000 in the first year of the partnership.

A fifth of the money supports the charity's heritage seed library, which preserves rare seeds that are no longer commercially available to gardeners. As a result of the new income, 15 new vegetable varieties have been added to the library's catalogue.

The charity's horticulture expertise has also been essential to the Dig Your Dinner campaign. Ten varieties of tomato, distinctive for their look or taste, were chosen from the library to star in the 2009 campaign.

The charity's brand ambassador, former pop star and celebrity gardener Kim Wilde, and its vice-president, chef Raymond Blanc, promoted the campaign in the media.

Sophie Brooks, brand ambassador at Seeds of Change, says the partnership has enabled the company to reach a wider audience and given it credibility with that audience.

"Dig Your Dinner was something that naturally fitted with both Seeds of Change as a brand and Garden Organic," she says. "It wasn't really a case of having to force-fit anything. The principles are naturally there."

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