Our products have been organic since day 1, and I think that’s been a big part of how circularity has been in our mindset since the beginning. Our awareness on impact on planet and communities has been part of our values and DNA but this journey to get more circular has allowed us to think beyond organic and agricultural practices into how we think about that in terms of our people, our processes, the way that we operate, and the communities that we impact.”Krysten Cooper – Director of Corporate Culture & Sustainability, Yorkshire Valley Farms
Through the support of Meat and Poultry Ontario’s Canadian Agricultural Partnership Program, Yorkshire Valley Farms (YVF) was looking to define its organisational purpose, vision, and develop a purpose-driven growth strategy to achieve its sustainability and circularity goals.
Anthesis started by carrying out a series of assessments to:
- Identify the feasibility of creating new revenue streams from the offal by-products, specifically hearts, livers, and chicken feet.
- Conserve water used in the facility.
- Measure the level of circularity as it relates to packaging and production waste.
- Assess the organisational health and openness to change.
- Understand gaps and opportunities for purpose-driven communications.
With baselines and barriers in place, it was now time to align YVF around a common purpose and vision. Together we worked through a structured approach to help YVF get clarity on their purpose and how it will drive business growth while supporting their corporate vision. These elements provided direction for the development of YVF’s purpose-driven circular business strategy using the Objective and Key Results Framework.
Through alignment around its purpose to “make food matter more” and Vision “to be part of a stable, fair, and thriving food system”, YVF has achieved the following:
- Completed two surveys of an Organisation Health Index so that employees could feel heard and valued as demonstrated by improvements in engagement scores.
- Created a Director of Corporate Culture role, as the organisation began to recognise the importance of human capital in its circularity and sustainability strategy.
- Began process to introduce employee benefits such as parental leave and a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) program.
- Empowered employees to be part of the operational assessment work with our partners at Enviro-Stewards.
- Became more circular in the following areas: packaging, water usage, and waste.
Key outputs included:
- Creating a goal to achieve a 10% reduction in freshwater usage, and made changes to packaging to improve recycling compatibility.
- Organizational Health Index (OHI) score report from September 2021 to 2022 increased by 0.22 points, a 5.6% improvement, allowing Yorkshire Valley Farms to progress in its goals to achieve a regenerative culture.
- Through employee empowerment, effective communication, and additional investment made in smart meter technology, the team was able to take ownership and troubleshoot a spike in water consumption, leading to an 18% reduction by the next month in freshwater usage.
- Purpose-driven Instagram creative received 3.4x more engagement than a similar creative with functional messaging (as measured by ad clicks).
These achievements have resulted in enhanced employee enrolment and engagement, a refined business strategy through the lens of circularity, and engaged customers through purpose-driven communications.