At the end 2018, the HOCHDORF Group had a total of 694 employees. This is about 60 more than two years ago. Besides administration and sales/marketing, supply chain and technology as well as production were all areas that saw an increase in the number of employees. The increase is attributable to acquisitions as well as the new production facilities and the new logistics infrastructure in Sulgen.
Women and men are promoted in equal measure in the HOCHDORF Group (hereinafter referred to as HOCHDORF). Women make up over a third of the workforce of HOCHDORF. At 20%, the proportion of women in middle and senior level management positions remained largely unchanged over the past two years. Bimbosan AG and Uckermärker Milch GmbH have an above-average proportion of women of over 50%.
HOCHDORF employs people from diverse social backgrounds, countries and age groups. As of the end of 2018, the company employed employees from more than 30 countries. The composition by age group was distinctly heterogeneous. The largest group of employees working at HSN, for example, was the 30% of employees aged between 50 and 59, closely followed by employees between 30 and 39, representing around 25% of the workforce.
Safety management at HOCHDORF 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. The "safety officer" regularly conducts hazard assessments of plants and workplaces together with an external safety engineer. In addition, the safety rules are continuously reviewed and optimised. The accident rate fell in 2018 to 0.38%.
As at the end of 2018, HOCHDORF was training 38 apprentices in eight professions. From 2019, HOCHDORF will also offer an ICT specialist apprenticeship. In 2018, an international apprentice exchange took place for the first time, which allowed valuable know-how and experience to be collected and shared.
HOCHDORF is reliant on experts and therefore offers various further education and training courses. In addition to online hygiene training courses at the production facilities and basic dairy courses at Uckermärker Milch GmbH, HOCHDORF South Africa Ltd, for example, offers further education in the form of regular training in chocolate production. HOCHDORF also offers English courses to promote international, interdisciplinary cooperation.
HOCHDORF also encourages individual further education and training. HOCHDORF, for example, supported employees to take degree courses and acquire higher technical qualifications to become food technologists, heating plant managers, logistics specialists, packaging generalists and foreign trade specialists.
HOCHDORF also aims to pass its know-how on to future generations. An exchange programme will be launched for the first time in South Africa in 2019 in collaboration with Cape Peninsula University of Technology, which will introduce young food technologists to the process of chocolate production. As part of the programme, students will start a work placement at HOCHDORF South Africa Ltd for the first time in September 2019.
The pension fund of HOCHDORF Swiss Nutrition performed well over the past two years and it continues to be on very solid footing. The Pension Fund Foundation is managed by a body composed of employer and employee representatives. The cover ratio was 108.8 % (as at 31 December 2018), and the savings deposits accrued interest of 2.75 % in 2018. Employees have the flexibility of retiring between the ages of 58 and 70.