Leading provider of cold storage and distribution services to food producers and retailers, Reed Boardall, has become one of just 100 organisations across Yorkshire and the Humber to be given a Silver award, accredited by the MOD, as part of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) in recognition of its commitment to being an armed forces-friendly organisation.
With over 20 veterans and regular and reservist serving personnel now part of the Reed Boardall team and a further eight soon to join, it is a further demonstration of the commitment of the Boroughbridge-based business to supporting defence personnel and inspiring others to do the same.
The coveted Silver award, which must be nominated by a third party, was given to the company as part of its pledge to advocating support to defence and the armed forces community, and aligning its values with the Armed Forces Covenant. Since signing the ERS covenant last year, the business has welcomed a number of services personnel to its 800-strong team and in November 2022 it achieved a Bronze award.
Reed Boardall was presented with the Silver award at a special event hosted by the Lord Lieutenant of York and attended by senior military representatives.
Marcus Boardall, chief executive of Reed Boardall, comments: “Reed Boardall has long recognised that many of the values and skills of forces personnel align well with our own culture. As a supportive family business, we’ve worked hard in recent years to formalise our links with former and serving defence personnel, providing well-structured career opportunities for those leaving the armed forces and giving them the peace of mind of working in an environment that understands them. It’s very satisfying to see our policies helping people move into a new career and also resulting in so much new talent coming into the company.”
Reed Boardall’s in-house Driver Academy is proving very popular with defence personnel seeking a new career, providing much-needed skills and qualifications to become an HGV driver. For example, the company has introduced a ‘buddy’ system for, designed to help make the transition into civilian life smoother. It has also adapted its employment policies to accommodate the training and deployment needs of those still serving where possible.
The company has also built links with the prison services to increase the employment of ex-offenders, and is has partnering with organisations such as Career Transition Partnership (CTP), Army Families Federation, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), HM Prison Service and People Plus, as well as charities Veteran into Logistics and Clean Slate Solutions.
Marcus Boardall continues: “This Silver award is another fantastic achievement for the team. It is a real accolade to be nominated for such a prestigious award from the MOD by CTP and some of the charities with which we work, and is a further demonstration of how much we value services personnel and our commitment to supporting military families. We hope that more businesses put initiatives in place to welcome those embarking on a new career, whether they are veterans, services personnel or ex-offenders, and we are already working towards the ERS Gold award.”
Reed Boardall is continuing to undertake a number of initiatives such as participating in CTP recruitment days at Catterick Garrison and job fairs in Newcastle
As a Silver award holder, Reed Boardall has pledged to support the armed forces, including existing or prospective employees who are members of the community, and it has signed the Armed Forces Covenant which acknowledges and understands that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives. The award also demonstrates that the company promotes being armed forces-friendly and is open to employing reservists, armed forces veterans (including the wounded, injured and sick), cadet instructors and military spouses/partners.
Reed Boardall is one of the largest temperature-controlled food distribution businesses in the UK, storing and delivering frozen food from manufacturers across Britain, Europe and further afield to all the UK’s best-known supermarkets. With a fleet of over 200 vehicles operating 24 hours a day, year-round, it delivers 12,000 pallets of frozen food daily for its clients as well as providing a range of complementary services including ancillary blast freezing, picking and packing. The company employs almost 800 staff at its single site in Boroughbridge, Yorkshire.