“I’ve worked in consumer goods for a long time – over 40 years – and I’ve been fortunate to work with some really strong brands and best-in-class companies such as PepsiCo, Unilever and Burger King. The best jobs are the ones that integrate your personal interests too, so I loved my time at Burger King – burgers are one of my favourite foods! But my best job is my current one at Hovis®. I absolutely love bread and I’m a keen baker at home. My signature bake is a sunflower seed white loaf. Working with eight bakeries excites me every day and I love our products – my favourite in our range is Seed Sensations®, it’s a great product."
What do the Hovis® values mean to you?
"Our company values mean a lot to me and the main reason for this is because they came from those who matter the most; our colleagues! When I set out our future strategy in 2016 to give our consumers the best quality product, I was clear with the Executive team and the business that we needed to, and would deliver, on this promise to our consumers. So in 2017, after working with a number of our colleagues across all of our sites, our values were set, based on what they think is important and the key drivers to success. These values are the bedrock of our company today and in the future.”
What does success look like to you?
“For me, it is about giving every home the best quality product. That’s what we strive to deliver at Hovis® every day. I spend a significant amount of time at all the bakeries with our colleagues, our milling technicians, our delivery drivers and the leadership teams, so that I can best understand what they need to deliver our strategy, and to ensure that we provide that, on a consistent, long-term basis. My career started in a factory as an engineer so I am therefore fascinated by what our bakery colleagues believe the business could be doing differently to achieve our goal. I am very heartened to see how these thoughts and conversations have evolved over the last 3 years and the difference our 2,800 colleagues want to make."
“The best aspect of my role is the variety. My career has given me exposure to every function within our business, and I’ve been lucky enough to work in a number of different areas of HR and on a variety of projects in my time here, so I have a really broad view of exactly how we work. My role also means I visit sites a lot and the one thing that makes me very proud is how proud my colleagues are to work for Hovis®.
I started with Rank Hovis McDougalls eighteen years ago in a Logistics role but my degree was in HR and it was always my intention to make the move quickly. In the past HR was primarily seen as a transactional function but it is now at the heart of most companies as people are a key part of our success, I therefore take great pride in ensuring the ‘People’ pillar of our strategy is delivered.
For me, the quality of our service is central to delivering for our stakeholders across the business every day. They should expect the best from us, and for this to happen I need to trust my team to do their jobs. I believe that trust should be given as well as earned, which is another thing central to the way we work here.
Ultimately I am accountable for delivering on the promises I make to the business and the Board. If I keep my promises and stick to them, I can inspire my whole team to do the same. That sense of accountability runs through our business and is one of our strongest assets.”
"I’m the Commercial Director here at Hovis®. This covers all the things our consumers see; what our products look and taste like, what packaging we use and its design, our innovation, as well as partnering with our customers and developing marketing plans that promote all the benefits of the Hovis® brand. The Commercial team in its purest sense serves the interests of the consumer, listening to their needs, whilst working with our customers to ensure the plans are commercially viable for us and them.
I started working for Hovis® in 2008 so I’ve seen a lot of changes both here and in the industry. We have a fantastic brand and an infectious passion that runs throughout the business, whether you're in an office, a bakery or a depot, there is so much pride for those five letters. Bread is such a simple product. It's not flashy or pretentious yet almost every single home in the country uses it. Toast in the morning, packed lunch at school or work, afternoon snack, picnic, late night peanut butter on toast; it's such an intrinsic part of our everyday lives and I love it for that.
There’s always something happening and always growth to go after and with no two days being the same, we never get bored!
Quality is absolutely fundamental to why we exist and it really underpins our brand and our entire philosophy. Whether it's our bakers making bread long into the night or our amazing drivers starting deliveries when most of us are fast asleep, it all works when quality is king.
I always make a point of buying a variety of bread products, because unless you see yourself as the consumer, you don’t have a true understanding of your product and why it's better than the many alternatives out there. For me it’s important to not get caught up in a ‘head office’ mentality – we are here to deliver great products at great value to the millions of shoppers who buy our products every day.
When it comes to my favourite it depends what I’m eating it with – I’d say Soft White Thick with Nutella and definitely Seeded Batch with peanut butter! Oh and Seven Seeds with smokey bacon..I could go on”
“I look after finance at Hovis®, so I’m responsible for every penny that passes through the business.
I came here after many years in big corporate environments and it was the quick decision making and sense of energy that attracted me. Finance is a rewarding place to work at Hovis®, as we truly are at the heart of the organisation. We collaborate closely with all areas of the business to lead the compliance agenda and advise on all financial aspects of decision making – guiding Hovis® through both short term trading obstacles and through setting the long term strategic direction, balancing the options being considered by the business with sound financial discipline to underwrite the longevity of the Hovis® brand.Whether investing in developing new products, purchasing new equipment or planning an advertising campaign, Finance will be involved. We are a business wide function and you will find a trusted finance team member whether you are at head office, a bakery, a distribution centre or a mill.
Hovis® is a very dynamic business, constantly striving to do better, which makes Finance an exciting place to work as no two days are the same.We do have a regular cadence of work based around forecast and reporting cycles, but beyond these the work varies with the demands of the business, as we work together to ensure we deliver the best quality bread to our consumers every day. I joined Hovis® in 2015. I’m extremely proud of what the business and my finance team have achieved since then and the strong base we have built for future success.
My favourite product is Hovis® Seeded Batch, a new product launched in 2018.”
“I'm responsible for Manufacturing, Logistics, Procurement, Quality, Health & Safety and IS services. This effectively covers the whole process, from procurement of ingredients, through to bread arriving on the shelves at retailers as well as support services. I have a great team leading each of these areas and working together they all have one common objective which is to safely and consistently make and deliver the best quality products to our customers, on time, every day. It's a pretty broad and varied role and a challenging one too!
I’m proud to work for Hovis®. With such an iconic brand, the great products we make and the excellent team I have, we are well placed to exploit the growth opportunities that exist in our market and I'm looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.
I believe our brand values should and do guide the way we work as a business. Quality is about so much more than just the bread we bake. It’s about quality in everything we do and when you add to that how we pull together as one big team, is what makes us the best in the industry. To work like this, we must have absolute trust in each other to do the job we’re here to do – we shouldn't need to look over people’s shoulders to check up on them. We just do what we say we’re going to do and we do it well. It’s as simple as that. I know simple doesn't necessarily mean easy but it also does not mean impossible! But, working like this is what drives our success and makes us who we are."