> Monthly Archives: January 2016

We’ve teamed up with Hull University Business School for the ninth year running to deliver our colleague development programme

Our colleagues have started a unique two-week training programme with Hull University Business School to develop their skillset and broaden their knowledge of our sixth-generation family business.

The intensive course, which is running for its ninth year, is for colleagues who work within our subsidiary businesses – Aunt Bessie’s, Abel & Cole, Jackson’s Bakery and MyFresh. It offers them a chance to step away from their day job and consider all elements of our business, our values and their personal career development plans and opportunities.

Dickie Donovan, our HR Director said: “The course allows colleagues to learn about different areas of the business including HR, finance, marketing and logistics. They have time with our Chairman, our CEO, senior directors from across our Group, academic speakers from the university and third sector partners with which we work. The balance between theory-based learning and a hands-on approach really enhances colleague engagement and broadens their knowledge.”

Dickie added: “We feel the course is key to the development of people at all levels and encourages them to expand their knowledge of our Group and the wider world of business.

“Delegates really enjoy the opportunity to talk with our Chairman who shares the history of the family business and tells them about our values and governance, and our CEO who shares his own career path, strategy, how our values help us in business and how corporate parenting plays its part in the business.”

As well as academic lectures, our colleagues also take part in sessions focused on business strategy, the dynamics of the food industry and team building. In the second week of the course, participants put into practice the skills and knowledge gained and deliver presentations about business strategy to Board members.

Jeremy Wilcock, Business Engagement Manager at Hull University Business School, said: “It is always a pleasure for the Business School to run the annual Management Development Programme for William Jackson Food Group, which is one of our longest-established corporate partners. We enjoy having the delegates here and our lecturers relish the opportunity to work with them. Invariably they are an energetic and thoroughly engaged group, who genuinely seem to appreciate the course. The company has a great family ethic, which shows in preparedness to invest in a fortnight’s training away from the office. With the type of person who we meet on these courses, we know the business will be in very good hands in the future.”

We’re committed to the development of our colleagues and strives to retain the values that come from family ownership over five generations. As well as this course, we offer colleagues a host of opportunities to further their careers, including in-house training, external courses and for some individuals, the chance to study at Harvard Business School in the US.

Photo shows this year’s HUBS Management Development Programme delegates. Back row, left to right: Andy, Mario, Damian, Joaquin, Stuart and Greg. Front row, left to right: Gillian, Nicola, Helena, Tony, Kishan and Phil.


Say ‘I do’ to Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire pud wedding cake

With National Yorkshire Pudding Day right around the corner (7 February), Aunt Bessie’s is encouraging couples who are tying the knot – and are fans of the Yorkshire pud – to contact them and celebrate by eating their wedding cake with a difference.

Rather than being made with icing and ribbons, Aunt Bessie’s is creating a three-tier wedding cake made entirely out of Yorkshire puddings and a gravy fountain.

The iconic brand is calling for any Yorkshire pudding devotees who would love the chance to say ‘I do’ to the opportunity of the Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire pudding wedding cake at their wedding to get in touch via its Twitter @AuntBessies

Delighted to announce our five-year Community Farm Malawi project


William Jackson Food Group is hoping to provide food security to a farming community in Malawi, Africa, as part of a £225,000 five-year charity project.

Norman Soutar, chief executive of William Jackson, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of what we do, so to be able to apply our expertise to the important pursuit of food security in Malawi is a powerful use of our knowledge and skills.”

“Corporate social responsibility is so much more than simply being a responsible business – with projects like this one demonstrating the positive humanitarian effect we can achieve too,” said Mr Soutar. “To be able to help those less fortunate and empower them with the means to improve their lives is something we’re immensely proud to be implementing.”

The first set of funds will be used to buy seeds and livestock, as well as start training programmes. The planning process has been in place for more than a year, and a dedicated project manager from WJFG has visited Malawi to ensure the initiative will deliver tangible, long-lasting results for the village.

Working alongside The Cooperative College and Malawi Organic Growers Association, WJFG said the project will deliver substantial benefits for the Ntcheun people.

In the short-term, the goal is to give farmers the knowledge and support to become self-sufficient in producing their own food within the next 12 months.