Corporate Social Responsibility

Our employees

As at 31 December 2016, the HOCHDORF Group has a total of 633 employees. The number of employees in Switzerland has risen by 34 people in comparison with 2014. This increase is primarily based on the growth in the area of Baby Care, on new equipment and on the insourcing of some of the logistics. We value the experience and commitment of our employees and reward their loyalty in HOCHDORF Swiss Nutrition Ltd with a company loyalty gift as soon as they have been with us for five years.

Profit sharing for all

The employees of HOCHDORF Swiss Nutrition Ltd can share in the success of the company. The profit-sharing scheme is a thank-you to the employees for thinking and acting in a cost-conscious manner. A profit-sharing payout has been possible for the last two years.

Equal opportunity and diversity in the workplace

Women and men are promoted in equal measure in the HOCHDORF Group. The principle of equal pay for equal work also applies. Women make up around a third of the workforce of the HOCHDORF Group. The proportion of women in middle- and upper-tier management has increased slightly and is currently 22 %.

People from a wide variety of social backgrounds and of various ages and nationalities work in the HOCHDORF Group. When employing new people we pay attention not only to their professional skills but also to the composition of the working team. For example, the HOCHDORF Group filled over 13 % of new vacancies in Switzerland with people who were older than 50 at the time of their appointment.

Shift work and safety

Irregular working hours are stressful. For that reason night and weekend work is subject to special compensation at HOCHDORF. Shift-workers in Switzerland have no legal entitlement to a paid break. However, HOCHDORF Swiss Nutrition Ltd voluntarily pays for a half-hour break. As a result, actual working time amounts to about 7.9 hours per day. As well as a 10 % time credit, night bonuses amount to 34 % instead of the legally prescribed 25 % and, in addition to the obligatory Sunday bonus, they are also supplemented by a voluntary Saturday bonus. The employees in Switzerland also have at least 24 days holiday a year.

Safety management at the HOCHDORF Group covers areas such as occupational safety, food safety, data security, compliance and crisis management for internal and external damage events, as well as food-safety crises. There is also the post of «Safety Officer», who is responsible for occupational safety. Swiss in-house emergency response officers have also received advance training as part of the normal two-year cycle and passed the BLS/AED exam. For employees with a management function and in collaboration with SUVA, HOCHDORF Swiss Nutrition Ltd organised the seminar «Responsibility in Occupational Safety».

Commitment to basic and advanced training

The HOCHDORF Group trained over 30 apprentices in seven occupations at the end of 2016. The situation is regularly reviewed. Since 2015 we have included mediamatics and logistics apprenticeships in our programme. But HOCHDORF offers more than just training. Where possible, we try to make it easier to start a career. In Switzerland we gave permanent employment to total of five business trainees and one food technologist on completion of their apprenticeships. At Uckermärker Milch GmbH for example, we hired a dairy science lab assistant and two milk technologists.

No progress or expertise is possible without lifelong continuing education. The HOCHDORF Group is dependent on experts and for this reason offers various advanced training courses. For example, there is an online training course in hygiene, which production employees have to complete. A hygiene day with outside speakers is also held each year for managers and senior employees from production, the laboratory and product development. A refresher course of this type is held every two years In Lithuania.

Working in the HOCHDORF Group is becoming ever more international. For that reason we have offered our employees English courses at various levels since 2014. These courses are attended by an average of 20 employees per year.

The HOCHDORF Group also encourages individual further education and training. For example HOCHDORF has supported degree courses and higher technical qualifications as sales managers, logistics specialists, experts in accounts and controlling and in the area of marketing and communication. In areas or countries where there is a lack of advanced technical training opportunities, we support our employees with internal training courses, for example at our location in South Africa in the area of chocolate production.

Annual employee meetings

A target/performance and support meeting is held at least once a year with each employee. The meetings follow a defined pattern and form the basis for personal advanced training and career planning.

Healthy pension fund

HOCHDORF’s pension fund performed well in the past two years and is still on very solid footing. The Pension Fund Foundation is managed by a body composed of employer and employee representatives. The level of coverage is 117.8 % (as of 31.12.2016), an interest rate of 2.75 % was paid on the savings credit in 2016. Employees have the flexibility of retiring between the ages of 58 and 70.