Our people

Within our people pillar we are building the culture, skills and capabilities needed to help our business, the UK food sector and wider economy thrive in the future and also wherever possible, identifying opportunities to give back to the communities where we operate.

What’s at stake?

With a footprint in every region in the UK, food and drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, contributing £38 billion in Gross Value Added to the economy annually and employing over 472,000 people (Food & Drink Federation). As a result, it offers a wide range of opportunities to build a fulfilling career but is often overlooked by young talented individuals.

Developing home-grown talent, increasing the attractiveness of the industry to prospective employees and improving workforce skills are therefore key priorities for us. Having an openness to diversity in all its forms allows us to access the widest pool of talent available and creating an inclusive environment will enable them to excel.

In addition, the cost-of-living crisis is felt across our communities with food insecurity on the rise, as shown by the latest Food Foundation’s Food Insecurity Index. As a food manufacturer, we have a responsibility to support and nourish the lives of our colleagues, our consumers and our communities.

46%

of our general management colleagues are female

132

graduates have joined our business since 2015

2.9 million

equivalent meals donated from April 2020 to March 2024 to FareShare and other food insecurity charities

Our ambitions
A diverse, healthy and inclusive culture
A leading developer of people
A caring community partner
Our 2030 targets
Gender balance for senior management
Diversity KPIs to reflect regional demographics
All sites achieve platinum level Health and Wellbeing accreditation
Provide skills programmes and work opportunities for the young and excluded groups
75% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) vacancies filled by internal candidates
80% of colleagues feel they have they opportunity to develop and grow
Provide the equivalent of 1 million meals per year to those in food poverty
Be a force for good in our communities by volunteering at least 1,000 colleague days each year
In year progress
46% of general management roles and 41% of senior management roles are held by females
Published our annual D&I report internally equipping leaders with data for their areas
Four sites have now achieved bronze accreditation and one silver
Supported 79 apprenticeships across 41 SMEs since 2020 through levy gifting
Expanded T-levels programme to engineering. 70 of our apprentices are in a STEM role. 47% of our STEM vacancies were filled internally
60% of colleagues reported via our colleague survey that they have the opportunity to develop and grow
Second year of partnership with FareShare. The equivalent of 949,040 meals donated to FareShare and other food insecurity charities
502 days volunteered by our colleagues to charities and good causes

Our contribution

 

  • We are working towards bringing gender balance to senior leadership roles and addressing this through the introduction of our new Women in Leadership Programme, the continuation of our successful sponsorship programme for diverse talent, as well as utilising our mentoring, reverse mentoring, and coaching programmes.
  • We have four colleague-led Employee Resource Group networks – Multiculture, Gender, Health & Disability and LGBTQIA+. They identify what positive changes can be made by removing barriers and driving inclusion for the group they represent.
  • To support colleagues with their mental and physical wellbeing, we have been carrying out wide-ranging health assessments. Supported by Vitality, the organisation behind Britain’s Healthiest Workplaces, we have achieved to date, accreditation at five sites and plan to extend the programme to all of our locations.
  • Our long-running apprentice and graduate programmes provide fantastic career development opportunities while helping attract new talent and develop skills for existing colleagues. They also play a critical role in addressing a skills gap in our industry, in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) roles. We also became the first food and drink manufacturer to host engineering T-Level students.
  • We aim to be a force for good and volunteer our time and expertise to local causes linked to food insecurity, employability, and local environmental quality. As a food manufacturer, we can help tackle the issue of food insecurity and reduce food waste at our sites. Our partnership with FareShare means during 2023/24 provided the equivalent of 949,040 meals to them and other food insecurity charities.
  • A partnership with Neighbourly is helping towards our 2030 target of providing 1,000 volunteering days annually. In 2023/24 colleagues volunteered 502 days.