In everything we do, Crediton Dairy is committed to behaving in a responsible and accountable manner and as such, Corporate Social Responsibility is integral to how we act across all areas of our business. We recognise that we must care for and sustain today’s world for future generations and treat that responsibility seriously.
In achieving our primary objective of being a strong and successful dairy business, we aim to have a positive impact on the environmental, social and economic well-being of the rural community that our staff and local supplying dairy farmers live and work in.
Through working in partnership with our staff, customers and suppliers we aim to effectively manage the consequences of our activities in the following key areas:
- Community; and
- With our farmer suppliers
Crediton Dairy is committed to reducing the impact of its activities on the environment. We aim to limit our environmental impact by optimising our use of resources, minimising emissions and reducing wastage. To this end, the business has agreed clear environmental performance targets for the business to be achieved by 2020 which are in line with Dairy UK industry standards. These include:
- 15% improvement in energy efficiency
- 30% reduction in water consumption
- 20% reduction in chemical oxygen demand loading in our waste water (before primary treatment)
- All tertiary packaging to be re-usable or recyclable
- 100% of paper based cartons to be FSC labelled
- 0% waste to landfill
Accordingly we have put in place a significant programme of capital investment and environmental improvement initiatives to meet these objectives. For example, during 2015 we undertook a number of projects which will reduce further Crediton Dairy’s energy usage and effluent discharges going forward.
Crediton Dairy recognises that our staff are a key factor in the on-going growth and success of the business. As such, in the workplace we are committed to promoting a culture that values integrity, encourages diversity, rewards performance and provides opportunities, training and development.
We believe central to this is effective staff consultation, communication and engagement.
The company uses a variety of ways to provide employees with relevant information regarding all aspects of the company’s operations affecting their employment. These include team briefings, consultative meetings and the circulation of written material. A comprehensive induction pack has also been introduced for employees joining the business.
A Joint Staff Consultative Forum (JSCF) is in place to provide a forum where ideas, issues, new policies, organisational changes and other matters affecting employees can be discussed. 2016 has also seen Crediton Dairy conducting a comprehensive staff survey. We were delighted to get an 80% response rate from staff around the business, a very healthy figure. Whilst the results are in the early stages of analysis, our senior management team has committed to an annual survey which will enable us to put in place benchmarks against which we can measure progress each year.
We also place great importance on keeping our staff safe through ensuring we have in place comprehensive health and safety policies and practices. Safety awareness is promoted through the issue of policies and procedures, health and safety risk assessments and the introduction of safe systems of work.
Information on pension matters is provided individually to employees. Crediton Dairy has a stakeholder pension scheme in place whereby the company will double an employee’s pension contributions up to a maximum of 8% of basic pay. We also have in place an annual staff performance related bonus scheme whereby all employees have the opportunity to earn a cash bonus upon achievement of business improvement targets.
As part of our Policy on Diversity, the company gives full and fair consideration to applications for employment from disabled persons. Where practicable, the company will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled applicants or employees can carry out their duties. In addition, where existing staff become disabled it is our policy to provide continuing employment, wherever practicable, under normal terms and conditions. It is also company policy that the training, career development and promotion of disabled staff should, as far as possible, be identical to that of other employees.
Crediton Dairy Ltd is committed to developing and adopting a proactive approach to tackling hidden labour exploitation, within its own business and that of its suppliers. Using guidance from the ‘Stronger Together’ initiative, we are in the process of developing a plan which will consider the policy commitments and the subsequent actions required to implement them most effectively.
In the marketplace Crediton Dairy aims to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with our customers and suppliers based upon shared values of trust, quality, service and innovation.
It is the company’s policy to trade fairly with customers and suppliers. As part of this policy, we seek to agree payment terms with suppliers and to always make payment in accordance with those terms, to the extent practicable.
With regards to innovation over the last two years we have increased our capabilities through the creation of an enhanced New Product Development Team led by Bethan Parsley (NPD Manager), new NPD offices and a development kitchen. In 2015 we were pleased to have won a Grocer NPD award for our innovative ready to drink range of ‘Gü’ hot chocolate milk drinks.
Moving forward Crediton Dairy is committed to working in partnership with our suppliers, partners and customers to increase product innovation and will commit increased funding towards this in 2016.
In relation to product quality we are committed to achieving the highest standards and have worked hard to establish a culture of continuous improvement in this area. In line with this we are proud to hold the following accreditation:
- BRC EFSIS Grade A
- CLAS Laboratory Accreditation
- ISO 14001 Environmental Accreditation
- Green Audit Status with most major retailers
- Soil Association Organic Accreditation
- Red Tractor Accreditation
- CQC accreditation to supply both Conventional & Organic Milk to China
At the same time, we are committed to working with others to develop the British dairy market through being involved in a wide range of organisations and initiatives including being members of the Provisions Trade Federation. We also champion a number of national, regional and local organisations and initiatives focused on supporting the dairy and farming sectors. These include:
- The Prince’s Dairy Initiative
- The Devon County Show
- West Country Dairy Awards – A charity that awards grants for the training and development of young people wishing to have a career in agriculture
- South West Dairy Industry Dinner (Joint sponsor)
Crediton Dairy is the largest employer in the Devon market town of Crediton and we recognise that we have an important role in helping to grow and sustain the economic and social wellbeing of the local community.
Examples of this include our annual sponsorship of ‘A Fairy Tale Christmas in Crediton.’ This event, which marks that start to the festive season in the town, sees the high street taken over for the evening with live music, children’s entertainers, a fancy dress competition, the parade and the Christmas lights switch-on in the Town Square. We also support the Crediton Food Festival, sponsor a local youth football tournament and give £2,000 p.a. to local charities at Christmas. At the same time, we also have recruited two engineering apprentices who live in the local community.
Crediton Dairy was also pleased to be shortlisted for the title of Rural Business of the Year in the Western Morning News 2015 Countryside Awards which seek to recognise ‘outstanding farmers, rural businesses and organisations from across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset’.
By working closely with local farmers we benefit from a secure, sustainable and fully traceable supply of high quality, farm assured milk. The majority of the milk we use comes from farms within a 30 mile radius of our dairy and we are delighted that a growing number of farmers are joining our dedicated Crediton Dairy Supply Group.
We recognise that, first and foremost, central to both recruiting and retaining our farmers, is to pay a competitive, sustainable and attainable price for the milk they produce. To demonstrate our commitment to this, our milk price schedule and contractual requirements are simple, clear and transparent – and fully compliant with the industry’s Voluntary Code of Best Practice.
At the same time we aim to build long term relationships with our farmers by keeping them fully informed about developments within the business and the wider industry. We do this by holding regular Farmer Days, dairy visits, the publication of Crediton Dairy Times our farmer newsletter and through the building of on-going personal relationships between our farmers and senior managers.
We also provide our farmers with technical support to address milk quality issues and arrange support to help them with forecasting. We have also put in place an innovative payment system which gives them the option of receiving early payment for 50% of their milk.
Crediton Dairy recognises that this Corporate Social Responsibility policy must relate to every aspect of our business activities. As such, we regard it not “as a nice thing to do” but as integral to how we operate, develop and succeed. In consultation with our key stakeholders, we are committed to identifying, measuring and reporting on those performance areas that represent our most significant impacts.