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D+C  e-Paper  December 2015 27 Pizza Hut brand and is now called Yum! Brands. In 2001 Tricon revisited its contract with MINT and tried to add a non-compete clause and increase royalties. MINT felt this was unfair. After a year of negotiations, the two companies ended their partnership and set- tled out-of-court. Having tapped into Thailand’s taste for pizza, MINT renovated all of its pizza restaurants and undertook a massive rebranding effort, introducing the name Pizza Company. Legal fees and rebranding cost MINT about € 4.2 million, but the investment soon paid off. Within six months, the Pizza Company became the country’s largest pizza chain with a mar- ket share of 70 %. Today, the Pizza Company has fran- chises in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, China, Myanmar and seven other countries. MINT continues to introduce American quick- serve restaurants to Thailand. It has brought in Burger King, Sizzler and Swensen’s Ice Cream with lasting success. Social commitments Heinecke has started a comprehensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme that funds ani- mal protection, promotes eco-friendly practices and supports local communities. MINT supports wildlife protection initiatives, including marine turtle conser- vation in Phuket, coral rehabilitation in the Maldives and Serengeti lion protection in Kenya. In the northern Thai province of Chiang Rai, MINT has set up the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation to improve the welfare of elephants and the livelihoods of mahouts (elephant trainers) in Southeast Asia. The elephant is Thailand’s national animal. Nonetheless, the animals often suffer. They are used in illegal logging, elephant shows and even for begging in city streets. Ele- phant abuse has thus become prevalent throughout Thai- land. The Foundation takes care of elephants through an effort of rehabilitation, care and nutrition. It supports mahouts and their families with accommodation, health care and insurance. It also runs training courses for vet- erinarians, scientists and park rangers. In its dairy and cheese production facilities, MINT employs people from the local communities. The facilities meet high environmental standards. For instance, they use LPG as fuel in order to minimise pollution. The water management system uses resources sparingly. MINT’s attention to detail goes all the way to the LED lights and refrigerator specifications in restau- rants. The Thai government recognises these achieve- ments and has awarded Minor numerous accolades including the National Occupational Health and Safety Award and the CSR Excellence Award. Minor Food cooperates with the Ministry of Education and the Office of Vocational Education Commission in internship and work programmes that allow univer- sity students to get hands-on experience and addi- tional income during their schooling. Minor Food is also cognizant of responsible sourc- ing, traceability and consumer health. The global sourcing team ensures that core products can be traced and meet quality and safety standards. It also has training programmes on food safety and cleanli- ness on the operations level. The supplier auditing and assessment process is rigorous. The procurement process for Minor Hotel Group similarly relies on strict auditing and assessment. Minor International belongs to a growing class of indigenous Southeast Asian companies that are becoming global players. As Minor expands, it is exporting its success abroad and changing the land- scape of global food and hospitality. Links: Minor International Annual Report 2014: http://mint.listedcompany.com/misc/ar/20150305-mint-ar2014-en-03.pdf Open Letter from Minor Group’s Bill Heinecke: http://www.tatnews.org/open-letter-from-minor-group%E2%80%99s-bill- heinecke/ Cod Satrusayang is a journalist and writer based in Bangkok. [email protected] dpa.com Every year Minor International organises an elephant polo tournament in Thailand to promote and raise funds for its elephant projects.

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