Canadian companies double down with pledges to support refugees

At the Canadian Business Summit in Toronto on February 7, 2019, ten leading companies came forward and made commitments to support refugees, demonstrating that the welcoming policies of the Canadian government are well-entrenched within the business community.

Co-hosted by Tent, McCain Foods, IKEA Canada, Sodexo, and Starbucks Canada, the summit resulted in Canadian businesses pledging to harness the skills and talents of the more than 100,000 refugees currently residing in Canada. In addition to the announcements, the event also sought to encourage even more companies to get involved and to consider how they could strengthen and diversify their workforces and supply chains by including refugees.

Michael Ward, President of IKEA Canada, used the event as a platform to announce IKEA’s plans to hire 250 refugees domestically. Ward said: “We’ve seen firsthand the powerful impact of helping refugees rebuild their lives – nothing advances integration in Canada like working side by side with members of the community.”

Other examples of the commitments announced at the summit include:

  • McCain Foods announced plans to hire 125 refugees across its operations in Canada.
  • Sodexo announced that they will hire 300 refugees across their global operations, including 20 in Canada.
  • Peace by Chocolate will hire 50 refugees over the next three years, support 10 new refugee businesses through advocacy and leverage their distribution and retailing networks to help four refugee startups and/or businesses get their products to market.

Reflecting on the success of the event and looking forward to future business summits, Hamdi Ulukaya, Tent Founder and Chobani CEO, shared, “(Businesses) know how to move things forward, we know how to solve problems, we know how to innovate, we know how to go fast.”

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