Cadell Food Service, in Echuca, can be proud of being the first food wholesaler state-wide to be awarded Victorian Government recognition for all health areas in the Healthy Workplaces Achievement Program.
Tope Adepoyibi, Achievement Program head, commends Cadell Food Service on its outstanding health and wellbeing achievement.
“The commitment to help all employees lead healthier lifestyles is encouraging and Cadell Food Service’s healthy efforts set a great example for other workplaces,” Ms Adepoyibi said.
Cadell Food Service joined the Achievement Program in 2018, and with support from the health promotion officer at Echuca Regional Health has implemented evidence-based change for all five program health areas – healthy eating, physical activity, mental health and wellbeing, smoking, and alcohol and other drugs.
Jennifer Fawcett, HR/WHS manager, says the 140-strong workforce has welcomed the new, healthy initiatives, which have improved the workplace’s policies, practices and culture.
“Staff now enjoy the healthier food options available. We had all our food and drinks in our on-site vending machine assessed by the Healthy Eating Advisory Service. The recommendations led to an overhaul of the products in our vending machines and changes to our practices around staff catering and events. For example, we now provide fruit platters and nutritious sandwiches instead of pizza and cakes. We also display delicious and nutritious recipes on the staff notice board,” Ms Fawcett said.
Another key focus is promoting active transport and movement throughout the day. Cadell Food Service offers bike racks, changing facilities and maps of local walking and riding trails to encourage staff to actively commute, take part in weekly walking groups or turn meetings into walking ones.
Cadell Food Service also regularly shares health and wellbeing information with staff via quarterly newsletters and daily communication sheets, displaying posters and brochures on the health and wellbeing notice board and by in-person seminars.
Getting involved in community initiatives and fundraisers such as Smart Eating Week, Dry July and R U OK Day are also popular activities among staff members. The HR team at Cadell Food Service champions this work and receives extra training to ensure a safe, healthy working environment is maintained.
Ms Fawcett states that the professional development opportunities have been great and helped to inform new changes.
“Last year I attended a WorkSafe Victoria seminar on Mental Health. The new learnings gave me the confidence to try new approaches and build upon our current initiatives to support employees’ mental health and wellbeing. Also, all employees have access to our employee assistance program (EAP) with details displayed on our health and wellbeing notice board,” Ms Fawcett said.
The healthy changes have led to many positive health outcomes including:
- improved health awareness of staff
- use of sit and stand desks
- healthier behaviours in the workplace such as healthy catering and supplying fruit baskets
- enthusiasm from staff wanting to lead healthier lifestyles.
Cadell Food Service is committed to building on its health and wellbeing initiatives and will continue using the resources and support available to maintain a healthy workplace.