Engaging with communities and charities

We are committed to encouraging community engagement throughout our company, giving individuals the opportunity to support a wide range of charities and communities.

We already engage with our communities at a local and corporate level, and our new ‘Engaging our Communities’ workstream will give this additional focus and impetus. We look forward to updating you on changes we make as a direct result of this new group.


‘To bee or not to bee’ engagement campaign

Our campaign was launched in April 2017 to raise awareness of the decreasing bee population and their important role as pollinators for many of our foods. Read full article


We have designed a campaign pack including posters, suggested actions, competitions and bee-friendly wild flower seeds to encourage participation internally, working with our employees and externally with local communities.


Our sustainability coordinators, two of whom are beekeepers have been creating bee gardens, planting seeds, making bee houses/hotels and actively engaging with local bee keepers and organisations at their locations and at home. Our Basingstoke site has set up a partnership with a local bee keeping business, Becky’s Bees, to sponsor 50 bee hives and provide food for the bees by working with one of our suppliers – Hill Farm Oils. Paddock Wood already have bee hives with over 300.000 bees on site, Salisbury have set up hives at their location and several of our sites are looking into doing the same.


We’ve also had visits from regional beekeepers to each of our depots to educate our sustainability coordinators, including Jim Pearson and Mark Miliard from Wakefield & Pontefract Beekeepers Association. They explained how Bidfood’s sugar donations help feed their bees when there is a lack of flowers around.


Raising money – and awareness – for Malawi

After last year’s success we decided to run another One Water campaign called ‘Live the Malawi way for a day’ and this year we managed to raise a fantastic £1,000 across our sites. It marked the 11th year we have worked with One Water.

Our campaign ran from 12–24th March, to coincide with Nutrition and Hydration Week (12th–18th March) and World Water Day (22nd March).

We wanted to give our employees the chance to experience some of the things those living in poverty in Africa have to experience – but also to raise money and have some fun.


Why did we focus on Malawi?

Much of the funds we raise as a business go to Malawi to help tackle many different issues including providing villages with access to clean, safe drinking water and educating communities on the importance of hygiene and sanitation.

We also sent over ten employees to Malawi to understand why it is so essential we continue to help and how important the funds we raise are. This trip gave motivation to raise funds to those people who went to Malawi, but also amongst other members of staff who hear about it.

We created a series of posters and suggested activities to help guide our sites about what they could do to help. All activities were designed to help our people try something new – like preparing the traditional African recipes we designed, or to see if they could live on £1 a day (food and drink) like many in Africa are forced to do.

Activities included African theme days in the canteens which provided the employees of our depots the opportunity to try something new and ‘transport their taste buds’. There were also raffles, bake sales and more.

We raised over £1,000 for this fantastic charity. One Water’s aim is to raise £20 million by 2020, and we hope our continued efforts will help them to achieve this goal.

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