Corporate - Sustainability - PEOPLE

Ardo is a company where employees matter.Our success depends on them!


At Ardo, the focus is on our employees, which is why we consider it essential to encourage them to live life in a healthy and active manner. With this in mind, different working groups ‘Fit@Ardo’ were set up.

The working groups focus on two pillars: exercise and healthy eating.

Firstly, we want to encourage our employees to exercise more, both at home, at work, and if possible, during their commute.
The second pillar of Fit@Ardo focuses on motivating our employees to adopt a balanced diet. We want to help them to learn more about healthy eating, and that is why we organise a number of initiatives.

Each year, Ardo Ardooie (BE) takes part in a number of sporting events, including running competitions (Wings for Life, Urban Trail), triathlons and so on.

The annual Ardo Cycling Day in Ardooie is always a big hit. All colleagues who cycle to work on the day, are rewarded with a healthy breakfast. It is ideal for encouraging interaction with other colleagues and is an excellent way to start the working day.

The Discover Ardo programme delivers a combination of exercise and discovery. This guided walk is organised on and around the site, providing the opportunity for employees to get to know the site in a fun way. So far, employees have had the chance to visit the biomethanisation plant, the production department and the distribution centre during their lunch break.

Healthy eating is promoted in Ardooie by offering soup, fruit or a smoothie on a three-monthly basis.

A range of initiatives are also organised at other sites.

The ladies at Ardo Benimodo (ES) took part in the Women’s Race of Valencia, a solidarity running event intended to raise money to help beat cancer.

In addition to attending information sessions where the participants learn about how to stop smoking, how to move correctly (correct posture for lifting heavy objects) and about relaxation exercises, colleagues at Ardo Badajoz (ES) are encouraged to cycle to work. Each month, they count up the kilometres that they have cycled. At the end of the challenge they will work out which city they would have managed to reach by bike. Besides discovering the number of calories burnt, the amount of petrol saved and the volume of CO2 emissions avoided, the participants are rewarded with a typical regional dish from the city to which they would have cycled. Perhaps they will make it all the way to Ardooie (2.184km) – then they can sample the tasty dish of Belgian endive wrapped in ham and covered in a cheese sauce.

At Ardo Denmark, all employees are given a piece of fruit each day. Our Danish colleagues also take part in a Cycle and Run event, in which five colleagues work together to cycle and run the distance of a marathon. They do not shy away from other competitions either. In the Adventure Run, participants from Ardo and other companies have to run 5 or 10km as fast as possible.

Our colleagues at Ardo Zundert (NL) also offer monthly tips and facts, including information about vegetables, smoothie recipes, tips on how to stop smoking, workout secrets, and so on. Not only that, but they organise mini workout sessions, cooking workshops and take part in major walking events in the Netherlands.

In Ardo Gourin (FR), a few colleagues use their lunch break to go running together twice a week. The team spirit will hopefully encourage other colleagues to take part too.

MOSAIC: professional work environment

The key projects to be implemented in the coming years are streamlined processes, common master data and Group software systems, which will be consolidated within the Mosaic programme.

A mosaic is a work of art which is created by precisely fitting together a number of separate pieces. Each piece is essential for achieving the perfect outcome. Creating a mosaic requires a lot of effort, planning, skill and patience. It is important to keep a clear overview of the process, whilst at the same time placing each piece with surgical precision. When it all comes together, the result is fantastic. The programme name reflects what we are aiming to achieve: we are bringing together people, expertise and departments from across the entire Ardo Group. Ultimately, we want to implement Ardo’s operations more effectively.

A BPS-team (Business Processes & Systems Department) has been set up at Group level in Belgium, and the team, consisting of IT and master data employees, will provide support to colleagues at the local sites during the implementation of upcoming projects. We believe that close cooperation with local sites is paramount, and around 140 colleagues representing the Ardo sites have been consulted, to ensure that all business needs have been identified.

Site involvement, combined with training, will give our employees the opportunity to assist in further professionalising our company, whilst developing their own skills, and enabling us all to be prepared for the future.

Partnerships with growers and suppliers:

Field managers play an active role in raising safety awareness and accident prevention for all the activities they manage in the field (mostly the sowing & harvesting of crops).

They are expected to provide advice, to lead by example, and to intervene when they observe unsafe working practices.

Special attention is given to the safety features incorporated into the sowing and harvesting machines. Adequate guarding and emergency stop/power cut-off are prerequisites on machines used by our agricultural contractors. Growers, contractors and visitors are reminded to respect the rules on safety to avoid incidents with sowing and harvesting machines. In future, Ardo’s leading agricultural contractors will be included in the Health & Safety audit.

Our role in society: The social programme at our Alpiarça site

At our Alpiarça site in Portugal a project team composed of employees from various departments launched the Social Programme, focussing on people.

The project team met with the Social Associations from the three main areas where our employees live, to investigate their main needs. The findings from these meetings guided our actions in four areas:

  • Monthly donations of company products to charitable institutions.
  • Creation of an employee volunteer group.
  • Support from HR, working with local agencies, for the professional integration of disadvantaged qualified professionals.
  • Internal communication to employees through various channels, the creation of local volunteer pools, and time off for the volunteering employees to participate in specific volunteer training and activities.

All Ardo Alpiarça employees participate in an annual collection of clothes and toys for distribution to charitable associations. In 2015, the employees bought 250 noses, which helped to fund the visits of professional clowns to children’s hospital wards. Also in 2015, the site received a group-of-children-in-need coming from a temporary shelter.

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