Bakkavör Caledonian Produce case study

Date : 03 May 2011

BakkavorBusiness Sector

Food Manufacturing


Bakkavör Caledonian Produce

Part of the Bakkavör Group, Caledonian Produce is a fast moving fresh produce business operating 7 days per week, 24 hours with a total current headcount of 900 staff.

Type of engagement

Students attending the Bo’ness Academy Part of our strategic intent is to attract and retain new employees and develop employee engagement through our local community relations. This has been a key aim for our business for many years and has been achieved by our partnership with Bo’ness Academy, a local high school.

Our approach has been focused on developing a depth of impact on the community and we have actively developed the relationship with Bo’ness Academy to promote not only Caledonian Produce and Bakkavor but also the Food Industry as a career of choice.

Purpose of engagement and activities

There have been four main project areas which have met the four objectives of the IGD employability pledge:

  • Create opportunities for individuals
  • Help grow confidence and employability skills
  • Raise profile and attract talent
  • Act responsibly

In addition through all our projects we have tried to support and coach Teachers to be able to work in a fully integrated manner within much tighter timescales and bring business acumen to enhance the learning experiences of young people as well as the professional development of the staff.

The project areas are:

The P7 Transition Project was aimed to use food hygiene skills to prepare young people for the move from primary to secondary education. The programme was developed jointly with Caledonian Produce and consisted of 3 sessions, 2 of which were run by Caledonian and taught the young people key life skills in storing and preparing food. The topic was chosen to highlight the importance of food preparation and to raise awareness of Home Economics, a subject not normally tackled in primary education.

The Food Challenge was aimed to develop and prepare young people for work and life beyond the classroom and included setting the pupils a task of creating a Deli Side Salad to appeal to younger consumers. The brief was then integrated into the teaching of Home Economics, Art and Business Studies. The cross curricular approach was taken to create the salad concepts. The project involved pupils undertaking market research; product development, including understanding specific nutritional; health and safety requirements; package design; and marketing. The winning product was then launched in store and 10% of sales were donated by M&S to the school. The project raised awareness not only of the food industry to pupils across the school, but more importantly increased the knowledge of teaching staff and supported the development of coordinated learning across subjects.

The Packaging Challenge took the themes of cross functional or cross curricular activity creating teams which achieve much more than expected to a second challenge involving Packaging. The brief here was to produce a piece of “Food to Go” packaging which was both innovative in design. This time the Science and Industrial Design departments worked cross functionally to research plastics and create the design concepts.

The Community Food Coop was opened in January 2011. The Community Food Coop project aims to provide access to healthy low cost quality food to its members. Although overseen by Bo’ness Academy Staff, the project will be managed and run by pupils in S4/5/6. These pupils will be given the opportunity to develop their employability skills through experiential hands on learning whilst working with the project. If successful it is envisaged that in subsequent years the target group will increase to those outside the school environment.

Results and benefits

The key benefits of the ongoing programme of activity have been:

  • The school/business links have provided effective staff development for both the school and the company
  • The promotion of career opportunities in the food industry and the education of teachers and advisory staff
  • Real business problems and solutions for the school to work with giving a better understanding of commercial approaches and decision making
  • Increased awareness of local economy and job opportunities
  • Development of skills for life and for work for the pupils

Key success factors

Our profile in the community has been greatly enhanced and we have established links to potential employees of the future. Our school links have also provided effective staff development for both the school and company. Our projects have had a profound impact on improving staff morale, reducing staff turnover from an annualised high of 22% for 2007 to 11% in 2010.

We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved together with Bo'ness Academy and we thank all staff and students at the Academy for their ongoing support and commitment.

Caledonian Produce is an M&S dedicated site who we have supplied since 1994 with snack salads and ready meals. We would like to thank M & S for their ongoing support, engagement and sponsorship of our work with Bo’ness Academy and the community

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