As sustainability begins with the recognition and development of employees, an employee survey was carried out in Switzerland, Germany and France in 2015 to assess the needs of the employees. The results were encouraging for criteria such as team cohesion and work content, but other topics can do with some improvement. Based on the result, measures were formulated in different workshops held in 2016 to further improve employee satisfaction in the whole Bell Food Group. A number of measures were implemented or developed further in the reporting year.
Separate employee surveys were also carried out in Poland and Hungary. The employees were involved to a greater extent in the formulation of approaches to improve employee satisfaction. These work groups developed and implemented various measures that led to improvements in different areas. In addition to a number of improvements at the workplaces in the plants and administration, wage transparency also increased. Further progress was also made with regard to training and further education. For example, employees can benefit from language courses throughout the year.
A new employee survey will be carried out in spring 2018. For the first time, it will be carried out simultaneously at all sites and across the whole Group.
Bell Switzerland has been awarded the «Friendly Work Space» label. This award is granted by Health Promotion Switzerland to employers who show particular commitment to the promotion of the health and well-being of their employees.
Further programmes promoting health and safety at work were implemented in the reporting year. These include ergonomic workplace analyses and information on health-relevant topics such as allergies and flu viruses. A committee for operational health management was set up in Switzerland. The measures that can be duplicated at other sites are being identified.
Improved work clothing and new equipment were introduced in various plants in Germany. Since 2017, the employees at some sites have also been benefitting from sport programmes.
Following the successful introduction of the TOP Bell Production Management (TOP BPM) concept at the charcuterie plant in Basel, the programme was launched in Zell, Gossau, Churwalden and Fresh Meat Basel in the reporting year. TOP BPM aims to improve efficiency and productivity at the workplace by involving all employees. Under the motto “0 – 1 – 100 – continuously”, the foundation was laid to also apply TOP BPM to more complex and cross-unit processes in 2017. It was implemented for the first time in the reporting year at the poultry plant in Zell. The project objective is “a continuous process of improvement with zero waste, one common goal and the full involvement of everybody”.
The Bell Food Group’s employees have a wealth of sector-specific know-how. In order to retain and expand this know-how, the company systematically promotes its employees. As part of the career promotion programme, every vacancy is reviewed to see if it can be filled with an internal candidate. From 2018, the Bell Food Group will apply a talent management system that will introduce a more systematic and individual process of employee promotion.
Progress was made in the field of further education in the reporting year. Training courses are no longer offered only in Switzerland, but also in Germany, Austria and Spain. Courses are planned in Hungary from 2018. Bell Switzerland also designed a development programme for young managers and carried out a pilot project in the reporting year. In 2018, around 50 employees of Bell and Hilcona will be able to benefit from this new opportunity.
The Bell Food Group offers training in 16 skilled trades at different locations in Switzerland, Germany and Liechtenstein. In 2017, 118 apprentices were trained. Exchanges among the apprentices at the different locations of the Group were furthered by mutual visits and work placements. The internal training programme was expanded in the reporting year.
A number of studies have shown that, in affluent countries, around one-third of food ends up in waste bins in private households. Consumers also often buy mostly prime cuts or minute steaks, chicken breasts or ham, while meat with longer cooking times, chicken thighs and wings or sausages are less popular. A programme to educate consumers about using and preparing all parts of the animal was developed in 2017. The online manual “Bell Code 1869” teaches users everything about meat, meat science and the best use and preparation of meat, and provides useful background information. This should enhance the pleasure of eating meat and reduce the waste of meat and meat products.
The Bell Food Group's sales revenue improved by CHF 327.6 million to CHF 2.1 billion in the first half of 2018. At 268.3 million kilograms, sales volume is up by 19.9 percent on the prior-year period. EBITDA improved by CHF 6 millio...