The Agri-Food Diversity & Inclusion Forum (AgDIf) is a collaborative initiative within the Irish food and drink industry with the purpose of advancing the diversity & inclusion (D&I) agenda within the industry focusing on gender balance initially.
In this exciting and challenging time for the industry with a stated ambition of reaching €19 billion in exports by 2025 (Food Wise 2025), the industry needs to be an attractive destination of choice for diverse talent to enable this growth and innovation. AgDIf is on a mission to support the industry on its D&I journey so that it’s best positioned to compete to attract the best talent at all levels and across all fields of discipline.
The initiative is led by Bord Bia and Aon in partnership with the 30% club. It comprises of an advisory group and taskforce with representation and buy in from CEO level in organisations ranging in size from the large corporates to small and medium sized enterprises across many sectors of the industry. Companies involved include: Kerry Group, Glanbia, Greencore, Aryzta, Ornua, Kepak, Dawn Meats, Keelings, Errigal Bay, Rib World, Carty Meats, Britvic, O’Brien Fine Foods. The taskforce also has representation from the Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine and Food Drink Ireland.
D&I is now a target in the Origin Green charter and companies are asked to set targets around this important agenda as part of their Origin Green sustainability plan under social sustainability. In 2018, AgDIf initially conducted research to truly understand the needs of the industry and to create a baseline to measure progress. This research clearly highlighted the varying degrees of D&I knowledge and implementation across the Irish food and drinks industry. On the back of the research the Taskforce created a toolkit that provides companies with practical step by step guidance on developing a diversity and inclusion strategy, building capabilities and tools and techniques for applying a D&I lens to the employee lifecycle.
In addition, they have hosted a series of D&I Masterclasses to educate, support and inspire the industry by sharing best practice and impact. Topics have ranged from developing the business case and strategy, growing your talent pool, agile working, attracting & retaining talent.
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