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Kudos to ACT Govt for chocolate fundraiser ban in its workplaces

By Charlotte Harper - 14 December 2016 31

Chocolate fundraisers

I despise chocolate fundraisers, and applaud the ACT Government move to ban the sale of such foods in Territory public service offices.

I’m not anti-chocolate per se. Give me a Lindt reindeer, Guylian shell or Malteaser and I will forget everything else that is going on around me until it’s gone.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it.

Do you agree with the ACT Government's decision to ban the sale of fundraising chocolates in its workspaces?

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My hockey club used to run chocolate fundraisers. Everyone had to participate once a year, taking several boxes home to take to work and sell. Some of those boxes would make it to my office, where colleagues, many who had weight problems and other health issues, would feel obliged to buy some to support me. In my guilt about all of that, I’d decide against taking the other boxes in. I should’ve put them in the bin. You can guess what really happened, and no, it didn’t involve my children eating them. We limit their sugar intake, but in any case, fortunately, they seem not to have inherited the “must eat/drink/do it all now” gene from their mother.

My fondness for those fundraising chocolate frogs was among the reasons for my hip to waist ratio to blowing out to the point of ringing serious alarm bells with my GP and, when I looked at the implications of this for my health, scaring me into action (more on that in a future post – in short, having ditched the drink to address it, I’m down 10kg and up $4000).

Full marks to the committee of the hockey club who switched a couple of years back to getting us to volunteer at events like the Australian Running Festival as a fundraiser instead.

So, yes, for what its worth, the ACT Government has my big tick of approval for its decision to over the next year phase out chocolate fundraisers in its workplaces.

I’m not sorry about the impact this will have on chocolate companies. They do very well out of us chocolate addicts without needing to guilt us into eating more for charity as well.

I’m not sorry about the impact this will have on organisations trying to raise funds, either. There are plenty of options out there, as my hockey club discovered. Sporting organisations in particular should look at fundraisers that complement their efforts to keep their members fit and healthy. Chocolate sales do quite the opposite.

What do you think about the ACT Government’s move on chocolate fundraisers? Can you recommend alternatives for organisations looking to replace chocolates for fundraising?

Here’s the ACT Government announcement to staff:

HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES TO CHOCOLATE FUNDRAISERS

The selling of fundraising chocolates are being phased out of ACT Government workplaces as part of the ACT Public Sector (ACTPS) Healthy Food and Drink Choices Policy in an effort to enhance the availability of health options. The ACT Government is leading by example to the community in promoting healthy food and drink choices in the workplace.
While chocolate or confectionary fundraisers are often trying to raise money for a good cause, they have a detrimental impact on our health and do not contribute positively to a healthy balanced diet as they are high in sugar. Combining these high-energy foods with sedentary lifestyles can lead to unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, which increases the risk of developing long lasting health issues, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer.
Sporting teams and schools often run fundraisers with chocolates and other confectionary. There is a growing trend for sporting teams and school groups to fundraise in other ways, which includes offering healthier alternatives. A number of schools are now fundraising mangoes which have proven to be very popular. If you are organising a fundraiser, try suggesting a novel approach like sporting equipment, fruit trays, movie tickets or store vouchers. These creative ideas will help to promote the fundraiser, while also encouraging healthy habits within the club, school, workplaces and the broader community.
The healthy fundraising fact sheet has a range of options available to help ACT Government employees continue to support fundraising activities while meeting the requirements of the ACTPS Healthy Food and Drink Choices Policy within a health promoting workplace.
These requirements already apply to staff at ACT Health as their Healthy Food and Drink Choices Policy has been in place since March 2015.
The ACT Government is committed to supporting a healthy, active and productive community under the Healthy Weight Initiative.
Authorised by Bronwen Overton-Clarke, Deputy Director-General, Workforce Capability and Governance Division, Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate

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31 Responses to
Kudos to ACT Govt for chocolate fundraiser ban in its workplaces
Dondon 5:34 pm 14 Dec 16

I like your thinking, you don’t like charity chocolates, you have no self control, you aren’t responsible for your own actions, so lets ban it so no one can have them.

Talk about nanny state.

Masquara 4:49 pm 14 Dec 16

All the members of the government can of course lead by example and not drink at functions; not include sugary foods at government-funded dinners … in fact, to be environmentally as sound as possible all government catering should be vegan.

Masquara 4:46 pm 14 Dec 16

If anyone shouldn’t eat chocolate – just don’t eat it! I hardly ever buy fundraiser chocolate, but when I do I’m glad my money is going to a cause and not Coles/Woollies!

gooterz 4:44 pm 14 Dec 16

Jon said :

And what about various work social clubs that buy chocolates and drinks and sell them to their colleagues during the year so they can have a slightly lower per person cost for the end of year Christmas party? At work, we don’t sell inflated chocolate frogs and call it “charity” – we sell Lindt and Malteasers and have a drinks fridge – all marked up by only around 10 – 15% – and consider it a convenience for our colleagues.

And any money we might be lucky enough to have made during the year helps allow a lower cost of our Christmas party – something that enables the less well off among our team to more easily afford to join in the celebrations.

Would this rule apply to us to?

Drinking and intoxication there might be unwanted contact. From 2017 all work events are cancelled.

If you walked upto a woman and said she shouldnt eat chocolate because she might get fat expect a punch in the face. However be a local government its basically fat shaming all the people whom work for ACT government.

The people who have put this in place must walk around and talk about how overweight everyone is. Effectively any meeting about implementing this is workplace harassment.

Why only chocolate eaters? Whats next a ban on smokers from being employed. New maximum weight requirements.

Are there going to be a number of positions opened only to people that ride to work?

Are they going to ban coffee that isn’t ethically sourced?

Is there a mimimun wage that the clothing makers need to be paid to wear a garment to work?

gazket 4:06 pm 14 Dec 16

Sugar should also be banned from the public service coffee machines as well. There is nothing stopping these weak minded people with sweet tooth from having 3,4,5 sugars in one hot beverage or even people adding 5 sugar sachets to their can of coke.

Sugar is the real problem facing Canberra, not terrorists, gun runners, drug importers, hit men (which a certain community seem to be lining up for new jobs everyday now) kiddy fiddlers, I could keep going. All which seem too be getting off lightly in this country.

I feel we need more health and safety power point presentations and no sugar by 2025 slogans to be recited every working day to help the public service get over this weakness and addiction to sugar.

The savings from buying over priced sugar andsweetener satchels will help the budget and the trams bottom line for the whole ACT community.

Jon 3:43 pm 14 Dec 16

And what about various work social clubs that buy chocolates and drinks and sell them to their colleagues during the year so they can have a slightly lower per person cost for the end of year Christmas party? At work, we don’t sell inflated chocolate frogs and call it “charity” – we sell Lindt and Malteasers and have a drinks fridge – all marked up by only around 10 – 15% – and consider it a convenience for our colleagues.

And any money we might be lucky enough to have made during the year helps allow a lower cost of our Christmas party – something that enables the less well off among our team to more easily afford to join in the celebrations.

Would this rule apply to us to?

Ten_Inches 1:00 pm 14 Dec 16

If it’s not chocolates it will be mangoes. If not mangoes, sunscreen. If not sunscreen, carrots. Wait, not carrots. They can go stick their carrots…

devils_advocate 12:09 pm 14 Dec 16

Heavs said :

In the near future you’re going to have groups of public servants huddled outside the building (15m away from the entrance of course) smashing down a quick Bounty or Mars in the wind and rain before shuffling back to their desk.

I realise this was irony, but it’s a neat illustration of the point – smoking cigarettes in and around workplaces directly impacts on the health of other workers through passive smoking. Eating chocolates in the workplace doesn’t really do that.

Heavs 11:47 am 14 Dec 16

In the near future you’re going to have groups of public servants huddled outside the building (15m away from the entrance of course) smashing down a quick Bounty or Mars in the wind and rain before shuffling back to their desk.

dungfungus 10:04 am 14 Dec 16

Blen_Carmichael said :

“‘Smith!’ screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. ‘6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! That’s better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me.’

A sudden hot sweat had broken out all over Winston’s body. His face remained completely inscrutable. Never show dismay! Never show resentment! A single flicker of the eyes could give you away. He stood watching while the instructress raised her arms above her head and — one could not say gracefully, but with remarkable neatness and efficiency — bent over and tucked the first joint of her fingers under her toes.

‘There, comrades! That’s how I want to see you doing it. Watch me again. I’m thirty-nine and I’ve had four children. Now look.’ She bent over again. ‘You see my knees aren’t bent. You can all do it if you want to,’ she added as she straightened herself up. ‘Anyone under forty-five is perfectly capable of touching his toes. We don’t all have the privilege of fighting in the front line, but at least we can all keep fit. Remember our boys on the Malabar front! And the sailors in the Floating Fortresses! Just think what they have to put up with. Now try again. That’s better, comrade, that’s much better,’ she added encouragingly as Winston, with a violent lunge, succeeded in touching his toes with knees unbent, for the first time in several years.”

You are supposed to eat chocolate, not snort it or smoke it.

switch 9:58 am 14 Dec 16

Blen_Carmichael said :

“‘Smith!’ screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. ‘6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! That’s better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me.’

A sudden hot sweat had broken out all over Winston’s body. His face remained completely inscrutable. Never show dismay! Never show resentment! A single flicker of the eyes could give you away. He stood watching while the instructress raised her arms above her head and — one could not say gracefully, but with remarkable neatness and efficiency — bent over and tucked the first joint of her fingers under her toes.

‘There, comrades! That’s how I want to see you doing it. Watch me again. I’m thirty-nine and I’ve had four children. Now look.’ She bent over again. ‘You see my knees aren’t bent. You can all do it if you want to,’ she added as she straightened herself up. ‘Anyone under forty-five is perfectly capable of touching his toes. We don’t all have the privilege of fighting in the front line, but at least we can all keep fit. Remember our boys on the Malabar front! And the sailors in the Floating Fortresses! Just think what they have to put up with. Now try again. That’s better, comrade, that’s much better,’ she added encouragingly as Winston, with a violent lunge, succeeded in touching his toes with knees unbent, for the first time in several years.”

“War is Peace.”
“Freedom is Slavery.”
“Ignorance is Strength.”

And surveillance cameras are everywhere nowadays.

Blen_Carmichael 9:24 am 14 Dec 16

“‘Smith!’ screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. ‘6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! That’s better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me.’

A sudden hot sweat had broken out all over Winston’s body. His face remained completely inscrutable. Never show dismay! Never show resentment! A single flicker of the eyes could give you away. He stood watching while the instructress raised her arms above her head and — one could not say gracefully, but with remarkable neatness and efficiency — bent over and tucked the first joint of her fingers under her toes.

‘There, comrades! That’s how I want to see you doing it. Watch me again. I’m thirty-nine and I’ve had four children. Now look.’ She bent over again. ‘You see my knees aren’t bent. You can all do it if you want to,’ she added as she straightened herself up. ‘Anyone under forty-five is perfectly capable of touching his toes. We don’t all have the privilege of fighting in the front line, but at least we can all keep fit. Remember our boys on the Malabar front! And the sailors in the Floating Fortresses! Just think what they have to put up with. Now try again. That’s better, comrade, that’s much better,’ she added encouragingly as Winston, with a violent lunge, succeeded in touching his toes with knees unbent, for the first time in several years.”

Chris Mordd Richards 9:17 am 14 Dec 16

I agree 100% with Charlotte. This is my perspective:

These use the same justification as for keeping pokies, because like 5% goes to community organisations. Enriching companies through guilt or addiction of ordinary ppl on the justification of a small payoff for a good cause is not right, the ends do NOT justify the means. Ban them from all schools and sporting groups also while we’re at it!

Corporate philanthropy is great (Ronald McDonald House for example although I hate the corporation) but using kids as agents for a small cut to push your product is just wrong (in the case of schools, i object to schools using them more than the PS).

Ppl buy them out of guilt, especially ppl who might have an addiction problem with too much sugary food, and the amount of money that goes back to the ppl trying to make money from it drops every year and is pitiful these days.

Corporate freedom is not the same as real freedom, and this is not nanny state, this is reigning in corporate greed that uses children as unpaid agents of profit and guilt and addiction to make massive sales.

dungfungus 9:15 am 14 Dec 16

If someone opens a pop-up chocolateria in Braddon which sells child labour free and forest alliance grown halal chocolate, the hipster public servants will be falling over themselves to buy them.

It will be the choice of gift for green/alternative types also.

rommeldog56 8:28 am 14 Dec 16

If overweight people have that little self control, why wouldnt they bring in their own chocolates, get some at lunch time or stop at shops on way home to buy them, U can not protect people from themselves. People have to make their own decisions.

Talk about a nanny state………

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