Hi, I’m Elise and I joined Bidfood in September 2016 as a Sustainability Apprentice. This was a brand new role and gave me an exciting opportunity to join the Sustainability team, reporting into the Head of Sustainability. At the end of my year long apprenticeship, I was promoted into my current role of Sustainable Development Advisor.
In my role, no two days are ever the same, which is perfect for me. I’m responsible for the coordination, development and communication of our plate2planet LinkedIn group, bringing together foodservice organisations that are happy to share experiences, ideas, news and best practice in sustainability. This involves engaging with a variety of partners such as Fairtrade, Vegware and One Water to create content and begin discussions in the group. I also attend different events to help promote our sustainability initiatives.
We have Sustainability Coordinators at each of our depots – these are employees who can work in any job role but have a passion for sustainability, so take on this additional responsibility voluntarily. My job also involves working closely with our Sustainability Coordinators and, twice a year, they attend a workshop to keep them updated on the latest campaigns and initiatives, which I now help to organise and run.
I think the idea of apprenticeships is amazing. I was given the opportunity to learn, gain skills and to achieve a qualification – all in one year! During my apprenticeship I was given the perfect amount of responsibility so that I felt trusted but never overwhelmed, and because I was an apprentice, I found people were far more patient with me.
Before starting at Bidfood I’d never done a formal presentation in front of a large group of people I didn’t know, so you can imagine my first one was pretty nerve-wracking! I took a few notes as prompts, but I found when I started talking my passion kicked in, so I no longer needed my reminders – this was a real key moment, as I knew I had found a job that was perfect for me!