Initiated by the Brazilian federal government in 1976, the Workers’ Food Program (Programa de Alimentação do Trabalhador - PAT) motivates companies to help their employees pay for food in exchange for tax relief. The aim is to promote healthy nutrition in order to enhance productivity and well-being at work.
PAT is primarily intended for employees with modest incomes (less than five times the minimum wage). That said, it benefits everyone, since employees with higher incomes can also access the benefits offered by their employer.
First steps in Brasil
For Edenred, the launch of PAT was a tremendous opportunity. The Group moved into Brazil in 1976 where it developed its flagship product, Ticket Restaurante, which streamlined the management of PAT.
Since then, Edenred’s solutions have undergone many changes to adapt to the country's economic, social and political context. In 1991, the Group developed Ticket Alimentação, which allows employees and their families to buy groceries. This represented a step towards enhanced quality of life.
Meal and food vouchers quickly became part of the corporate landscape and employee everyday life in Brazil. In 2016, two-thirds of companies participating in PAT used these solutions.
companies in 2016
In 2016, 20 million employees benefited from PAT in 250,000 companies, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Labor. They represent 38% of the local workforce and could fill the Maracanã Stadium, the country's largest soccer stadium, 211 times.
Forty years after it was launched, PAT therefore stands out as one of the most ambitious and sustainable socioeconomic programs that have ever been implemented in Brazil. It is a reference for the International Labor Organization.
ASSERT (an association of Brazilian companies that provide meal and food vouchers), in which Edenred plays a major role, was involved in the publication of a book called “40 anos do Programa de Alimentação do Trabalhador” to celebrate this anniversary. At the book launch event, dozens of stakeholders of the association and Edenred were present, including the book's ambassador, Almir Pazzianotto Pinto, who was Brazil's Minister of Labor and one of the main responsible for the evolution of the Program.