Future of Food & Work - Sustainability & Purpose
During our last event we explored the Future of Food and Work with a focus on people, health and wellbeing. Talking about how we can build resilience by connecting with others in the workplace, and how this can happen in a post-Covid world. Recently, Birkbeck University Organisational Psychology department published a guide to Managing your Wellbeing at Work. In it, giving back is highlighted as an important factor in wellbeing. Giving back makes us feel good. It’s something we’ve seen much more of in recent months with a stronger sense of community as we’ve been donating to food banks, shopping for neighbours and supporting local businesses. With this in mind, we are shifting our focus to looking at purpose and sustainability, and how they are connected to our health and wellbeing at work.
Liz follows up on the idea of ‘building resilience’, covered in our last People event, with a focus on ‘giving back’ and the integral part it plays in our wellbeing. Her talk also explores the idea of organisational purpose, and the shift from striving to be the best in the world to wanting what’s best for the world. It’s all part of a holistic overview of sustainability in the workplace, covering everything from sourcing and nutrition, to food waste and working environments.
Dr Kirstin Sailer
Kerstin explains how buildings can bring people together, as well as keep them apart. She talks about the importance of unplanned encounters, and how the loss of these chance meetings can negatively affect creativity, innovation and company culture. Kerstin also explores how we should be rethinking the office, and outlines practical steps to create the best possible experience, including ideas for shifts, rotas and breakout spaces.
Working in business development, Pete sees first-hand how the market is changing: what clients are talking about, what’s worrying them, what’s getting them excited. Here Pete outlines current talking points, from health and wellbeing to meat-free meals and sustainability. He explains that clients increasingly want their workplaces to be part of something bigger, and contributing to the community, supporting social enterprise and having a positive impact on the planet can all give a sense of purpose.
Tom tells the story of the Nature’s Heart brand, explaining its unique approach and the special relationship it has with its growers. He explains how the company provides farmers with educational tools and suppliers, and how it helped them swap the illicit poppy trade for the goldenberry. Finally, Tom looks ahead to outline his plans for Nature’s Heart, and the growing importance of socially responsible business.
Cemal talks about coffee, its ability to bring people together, and how it’s helping to transform lives via Change Please, a social enterprise that supports homeless people with barista training and Living Wage work. Then he turns to the future: the role of coffee in the post-Covid era; how it can help us rebuild our habits and routines; and the significance of social enterprise in a world where 38% of millennials say they’re prepared to reduce their interaction with businesses that don’t give back to the community and environment.
While putting together a delicious plant-based Buddha bowl, Ryan explains how nutrition can give elite athletes the edge, and support the operational readiness of our armed forces. He goes on to explore the foundations of health and wellbeing, and how nutrition can fuel concentration, decision-making ability and productivity; the importance of providing a choice of foods, for a range of dietary preferences; and the power of wellbeing programmes designed to support physical and mental performance.
Future of Food & Work - Health & Wellbeing
The current crisis has prompted many of us to revaluate and reassess: to look at again at what we take for granted, and what we really depend on.
There’s a new appreciation of the true value of ‘health and wellbeing’. It defines our family life, underpins our work life, and drives our productivity – personally and economically.
What we eat and how we eat are major factors. Food can boost energy levels and bolster immune systems. Shopping, cooking and eating together can strengthen social ties and support good mental health.
That’s just as true in business as it is at home. We will spend 40 years or more in work, visiting the workplace 9,000 times. Which means the staff restaurant is about more than a quick bite: it has the potential to make a real difference, for colleagues, and the bottom line. And it means we have an opportunity as an employer and as the UK’s leading foodservice company to improve life outcomes.
At Eurest, we’ve always understood the power of food. We want to encourage and enable the people we feed, in workplaces across the UK, to live heather, happier lives. We’ve brought together a panel of experts, to help us think about the role of food and beverage in the workplace, in whatever guise that is.
Dr Catherine Kelly
University of Greenwich Business School & CoreJourneys Well-being Consultant