Bord Bia Sustainability Spotlight: Caroline Littleton, Kerry Group

18 Oct 2019 | 10.00 am

Bord Bia Sustainability Spotlight: Caroline Littleton, Kerry Group

'We need to be a destination of choice for diverse talent’

18 Oct 2019 | 10.00 am

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Origin Green is Ireland’s national food sustainability programme. It is a voluntary programme, led by Bord Bia, which brings together our food industry — from farmers to food producers, retailers and food service operators — with the common goal of sustainable food production.

This programme enables Ireland’s food industry to set and achieve measurable sustainability targets that respect the environment and serve local communities more effectively. Crucially, Origin Green is about measuring and improving how we do this on an ongoing basis. This month we speak with Caroline Littleton (pictured), Director Leadership, Talent & Inclusion with Kerry Group, and chairperson for the Agri-Food Diversity and Inclusion Forum (AgDIf) Taskforce.

What is AgDIf?

The Agri-Food Diversity & Inclusion Forum is a collaborative initiative within the Irish food and drink industry and our purpose is to advance the diversity and inclusion (D&I) agenda within the industry, focusing on gender balance, initially.

It’s an exciting and challenging time for the industry, with a stated ambition of reaching €19bn in exports by 2025. We need to be an attractive destination of choice for diverse talent to enable this growth and innovation. AgDIf is on a mission to support the industry on its D&I journey so that it’s best positioned to compete to attract the best talent at all levels and across all fields of discipline.

Who is involved?

The initiative is led by Bord Bia and Aon in partnership with the 30% Club. It comprises an advisory group and taskforce with representation and buy-in from CEO level in organisations ranging in size from the large corporates to SMEs. Companies involved include Kerry Group, Glanbia, Greencore, Aryzta, Ornua, Kepak, Dawn Meats, Keelings, Errigal Bay, Rib World, Oliver Carty, Britvic, and O’Brien Fine Foods. The taskforce also has representation from the Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine, and Food Drink Ireland.

How does AgDIf help Origin Green companies?

D&I is now a target in the Origin Green charter and companies are asked to set targets around this important agenda as part of their Origin Green sustainability plan under social sustainability.

AgDIf conducted research in 2018 that highlighted the varying degrees of D&I knowledge and implementation across the food and drinks industry. On the back of the research, the taskforce created a toolkit that provides companies with practical step-by-step guidance on developing a D&I inclusion strategy, building capabilities and tools and techniques for applying a D&I lens to the employee lifecycle.

In addition, we have been hosting a series of D&I Masterclasses to educate, support and inspire the industry by sharing best practice and impact. Topics have ranged from developing the business case and strategy, growing your talent pool, agile working, and attracting and retaining talent.

The final Masterclass this year is being hosted by Kerry Group at our Global Technology and Innovation Centre in Naas on October 15, from 8am to 10am. The theme for the event is Attracting Talent, Overcoming Recruitment Challenges. We will have speakers on the day from Kerry Group, Diageo, The Shed Distillery, Bord Bia, Vodafone, CPL and the 30% Club.

What’s next for the initiative?

Measuring our impact and staying close to the needs of the industry are key to the success of the taskforce, and in the next few weeks we will issue a Pulse Survey to measure progress and define the focus areas for 2020. We also plan to share more case studies of the heroes within the industry.

To find out more about AgDIf, download the D&I Toolkit or register for the Masterclasses please visit, bordbia.ie/about/about-bord-bia/ag-dif/

For more information on the Origin Green programme, visit origingreen.ie

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