News

News

December 13th, 2011

Foodstuffs - raising skills nationwide

Standing out from the crowd in the highly competitive grocery distribution market is a big ask. But at Foodstuffs NZ that’s exactly what they strive for, and baking training forms a key part of their efforts. Foodstuffs’ northern training coordinator, Bhiren Prasad, is currently on a mission with his fellow regional training coordinators to take the organisation’s baking training commitment to the next level. Bhiren and team are working with Competenz baking specialist, Peter Rood, to make the most of upskilling opportunities for their employees baking goods instore in their supermarkets nationwide. Up to 100 of their employees are likely to be involved in industry-based baking training in 2012 – from entry level bakers through to department managers. Recently around 30 of the company’s employees who completed baking qualifications and apprenticeships in 2011 were awarded their certificates at a graduation ceremony organised by Foodstuffs. The event, held at Auckland’s SkyCity, was a prestigious affair for staff and managers to celebrate their collective 2011 training achievements. Graduate Lagi Manase, 51, known affectionately by her colleagues as ‘Ma Baker’, completed her craft baking apprenticeship to achieve her Level 4 National Certificate in Baking – Craft Baking, affirming the value of learning at any stage of one’s career. Lagi has been employed by Foodstuffs for 16 years and enjoys her role managing New World Eastridge’s instore bakery in Mission Bay, Auckland. During her career, Lagi has earned a number of honours, including the New World Bakery Apprentice of the Year Award in 2008. But she’s quick to thank others for helping her reach her own goal. “I felt really proud of myself that I finished my apprenticeship. But without my staff it wouldn’t have been possible,” says Lagi. “The management team were so supportive, helping me set up a plan to finish my units on time. That worked really well, it got me through.” Lagi also lends her years of baking expertise to help members of her team at New World to complete their Level 3 baking certificates. Like her employer, Lagi sees having a qualified team as a real benefit to customers, who demand the highest quality. “Swapping ideas and sharing your knowledge is so important, and I really enjoy both learning and helping others gain new skills.” Lagi values training and so does her employer. Training forms a key part of their plan to set themselves apart in this industry - with a passion for their people and their knowledge, as well as their business and customers. Foodstuffs is a proudly Kiwi-owned grocery distributor and one of New Zealand’s largest employers, with over 30,000 staff. Their retail brands include the New World and PAK’nSAVE supermarket chains and 4 Square convenience stores.