Sanitarium Health Food Company was registered as Australia’s first health food company in April 1898. It was established as part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia to promote and produce plant-based health foods based on its belief that plant-based diets provide optimal health as outlined in the biblical model (1). Worldwide, the Church operates health food industries and health-care services based on this philosophy.
Today, that belief is backed by decades of scientific evidence on the health benefits of grains, seeds, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts and Sanitarium remains committed to the purpose of our company – to support the Seventh-day Adventist Church in helping Australians enjoy healthier, happier and longer lives.
‘Changing lives every day through whole person health’
Sanitarium Health Food Company Purpose
Sanitarium’s purpose of ‘changing lives every day through whole person health’ is evidenced through the nutritious foods we make, the free nutrition resources and advisory service we offer the community and health professionals, our partnerships with charities in our efforts to combat food and nutrition insecurity. We’ve had a social purpose since the beginning - we wouldn’t exist without it.
Sanitarium also remains 100% Australian owned and operated. With a head office on the NSW Central Coast and food manufacturing facilities in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, our large workforce spans the nation. We are fortunate that our Australian-made products enjoy success in Australia and we export them to over 35 countries around the world.
In relation to Sanitarium's tax status, it is important to note the following:
- All of Sanitarium’s profits are transferred to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia which in turn operates charitable activities which include educational and health services and community programs to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities.
- Sanitarium exemption from company income tax because it gives its profits to a charitable organisation. Sanitarium pays all other taxes that apply to Australian companies. For more information about the Charity Sector and taxation please visit www.acnc.gov.au
- The 2008 Charities Commission review of the charity sector concluded that Sanitarium does not gain a preferential position within the food industry as a consequence of its charitable taxation status. Sanitarium’s observation of the Sabbath which ceases all company activity from Friday afternoon to Saturday night - including manufacturing and marketing - was part of the rationale.
- Income tax exemptions are available to all companies and individuals in Australia who give to charitable purposes, are registered as charities and otherwise qualify for such exemptions.
- As a wholly owned Australian organisation, Sanitarium’s business operations benefit the Australian community and economy.
- Sanitarium contributes to Australia’s economy through the direct employment of 1,000 Australians, the purchase of Australian ingredients such as wheat, sorghum, and almonds, and working with many Australian businesses that help move products through the supply chain.
Before profits are transferred to the church, some of the ways Sanitarium cares for the community include:
- Sanitarium’s Good Start Breakfast Club program, which is delivered nationally in partnership with Foodbank and Kickstart for Kids provides 1.5 million serves of breakfast to Aussie kids every year. This food relief program has operated for more than 20 years.
- Each year, more than 1.7 million serves of Weet-Bix are distributed to charities through our collaborative agreement with Foodbank.
- The annual Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon attracts more than 17,000 Aussie kids who swim, ride and run in the event designed to increase the self-esteem, resilience and fitness of children aged 6-15.
- In times of crisis like drought, bushfires and pandemics, Sanitarium donates generously to the emergency food relief effort.
- Sanitarium supports the Adventist Development & Relief Agency ADRA which provides family services and other community-based projects both nationally and internationally.
- Caring for the community is a core company value.
- Staff are encouraged to volunteer their time to help those less fortunate both in Australia and abroad, often within work hours.
- Our employee recognition program, the Spirit of Sanitarium Awards, sees a small group of award winners participate in a community development program with ADRA. These programs help vulnerable communities establish healthy and sustainable food systems with long-term benefits.
- Each October, Sanitarium staff are encouraged to dedicate working hours to fundraise for a common charitable cause. The money raised by staff is then matched by the company.
For more information about Sanitarium’s social purpose visit www.sanitarium.com.au/social-purpose