Real people, real passion
Our people are at the heart of what we do. Meet some of the passionate and talented people behind our business – we think they’re great!
Head of Packaging and Sustainable Procurement
Head of Packaging and Sustainable Procurement, Biggleswade
I joined JDR in 2016 in the role of Responsible Sourcing Manager. I’ve moved role twice, always within procurement but assuming more responsibility each time. The JDR culture is very supportive of personal development and I’ve taken this chance to challenge myself, take on feedback and ultimately grow my career. My role is exciting because it provides the means to really make a difference to our business, our people and our wider supply network. I enjoy working with my team and other functions to unpick complex challenges and look for the opportunity or the chance for continuous improvement in what we do.
Our customer supply chain surprised me when I came to JDR. I came to the business from Allied Bakeries where the customer footprint was largely UK based retailers. The international sales network of JDR is fascinating and was completely new to me when I joined.
Production Manager - Dorset Cereals
Production Manager - Dorset Cereals, Poole
"My motto is that 'none of us is as smart as all of us'..."
Over the years, I’ve worked my way up from Production Operative all the way to Factory Manager, and Site Manager. Every day is a learning curve, and I’m living proof of the massive amount of support and continuous opportunity here at JDR – the creating of headroom so that people can progress and develop and fulfil their potential. There’s a massive amount of passion and pride here.
As a manager, the people on the floor don’t work for me – I work for them. I give them all the tools and skills that they need to do the best job possible. My passion is building teams – because I’ve been developed and supported here, I’m really keen to do that with my team too. There’s just so much talent on the floor and it’s my job to build a strong unit.
Senior Category Manager
Senior Category Manager, Biggleswade
"Here, you’re in charge of your own ship – you’re responsible for taking it in the right direction"
It is great to be working amongst some of the best known British food brands in the UK. I work with fantastic people and have true ownership, with clear responsibilities in my current role. The team I work in allows me to influence the future thinking of the business, which is great because it means that I can make a real difference to the people who eat our products.
My current role allows me to work with some of our international retail partners as well as supporting the UK convenience channel. It is a very diverse role which is great because it means that no two days are the same. There are always plenty of projects to get involved in across the business which means that there is always scope for personal development.
Head of Brand - Ryvita
Head of Brand - Ryvita, Biggleswade
"I’m a consumer champion… they’re always at the heart of everything that we do"
I’m hugely passionate about our brands – I adore them and it’s my job to know our consumers inside-out. With my insight, I’m responsible for setting the strategy to effectively drive change through the business. By understanding our consumers and working with all aspects of the business, we ensure that everything we do is for the absolute benefit for our customers and consumers.
By my nature I’m a real team player and I love working with people, and knowing what drives and motivates those who I work with. I’m always thinking about how strategies are going to affect people first, whether that’s who I work with, the people in the business – the real hearts and minds behind our brands – or our consumers.
National Account Executive
National Account Executive, Poole
“My job is to make sure that every single customer experience is a positive one”
My passion for the brand and products has to shine through every day. To be able to sell, I need my customers to believe in me, in the products, and what they have to offer. I have to be resilient – this sector can be challenging and my workload is sometimes fragmented – but the company has helped me realise that I’m very capable.
I made the move from an accounting role into sales, and I now look after health and food services, including the online trade shop. One of the proudest moments in my career so far is the trade shop growth figures… I set quite a substantial sales target, and the growth that I achieved was amazing – we’re looking for even more growth, which makes me really proud.
General Manager - France
General Manager - France, Paris
"JDR is a really open business that encourages active communication across functions, roles and countries."
8 years with JDR… And believe it or not, I’d be happy to sign up for another decade! Even from my “remote” location in Paris, I can enjoy every day the culture that makes this business such a great place to work with. Here are my 3 highlights of my time at JDR:
1. Impact: autonomy and empowerment are central at JDR. No greater satisfaction than to see I can have a real, tangible impact on the business, every day, in (almost) everything I do!
2. Perspective: JDR is a really open business that encourages active communication across functions, roles and countries. This culture of transparency gives a rare and fascinating access to the richness and complexity of the entire business.
3. People: I had never worked in a company with such people. Great skills, but especially great values of simplicity, humility, humour, care… all this sort of the things that make you feel simply happy at work!
Site General Manager
Site General Manager, Bardney
“Responsibility and ownership are big factors in why I feel the company is a good fit for me”
I’m responsible for all site operations of a brand new brownfield site, destined to manufacture Ryvita products. The site is still being built, so everything is new! Recruiting, training and looking after our people are essential as we bring together our new culture. I’m involved in defining and managing all aspects of site operations – product quality, engineering, manufacturing, warehousing and health and safety so my days are very busy and varied! I joined the business via the Supply Chain graduate scheme at 21 years old – by 23 I was running my own shift, by 24 I was Operations Manager for a site that I’d help build and by 29 I’d become responsible for two sites.
Now at 32 I’m building another great site from scratch! ABF has a good support structure and does a great job of providing development opportunities. Our business is really growing and that brings many great challenges. I have lots of autonomy in this role and decision-making in a fast-paced environment has been a big part of my development here. I must ensure that the business continues to thrive in every area and is sustainable. My personal passion is to keep people safe every day, create a fantastic working environment and do the right thing for the long term.
HR Coordinator, Biggleswade
"Mutual respect and equality are a big part of our culture here, from the CEO down"
I’ve been with the company for over 30 years, working from the shop floor through to Production and HR… so I really know the business inside out! I help to keep the wheels turning here, and if there’s a new starter, they’re always told: “... If you need to know anything, Maureen’s the person to talk to!”.
When the company first started, it had a very strong family feel. Although we’re getting bigger, it still feels like a close team, and a family. We share and celebrate company success – one example that I’m proud of is when we gave everybody across the business a bottle of champagne and an extra ‘bank holiday’ to spend with friends and family.
Head of International Sales
Head of International Sales, Biggleswade
“I’ve seen more promotion and progression here than anywhere else in my career”
Rather than focusing on detail in one market, my role requires me to oversee 50+ countries, and many distributors and competitors. The fundamental skill required is to adopt a ‘helicopter vision’ approach. The role is great for me as it broadens my experience, especially since JDR invests significantly in its people and provides genuine opportunities to develop.
I tell my kids that you never regret what you do, only what you don’t do… probably why my most memorable moment with the business was accepting my current role – my first move away from working in the UK team. It took my career in a very different direction, has taught me a huge amount, and gives me the opportunity to really shape the direction of the business.
Packaging Team Technician
Packaging Team Technician, Poole
“I think it’s important to make the most of every day”
I work within the Engineering team and my job is to keep the factory machines running on top form – so I attend breakdowns, and just make sure that whatever needs fixing is completely fixed... and quickly! I’ve got pretty fast at sorting any problems and keeping things ticking over, because I know the machines inside-out.
Our team in Engineering has a great camaraderie and just works together really well – so well, that out of work we also play golf together! Our team leader is especially good at inspiring a great attitude in the team – he helps to keep up the motivation and really wants the best out of everything and everyone.