Mario Vanhellemont

As a fruit farm, we are very attentive to the diversity of our workforce. For some years now, we have been employing people who live in Belgium but originate from elsewhere. To help the workers to communicate with each other, we have been involved in the government diversity plan. For instance, we have run three Dutch-language courses and a course in intercultural communication, as well as the usual first aid courses and courses in ergonomic lifting techniques. As farm managers, we have also undergone training about delegating and running a group. We operate a mentoring/buddy scheme for new workers, so that they always have someone they can ask. We have also brought out a visualised welcome booklet, and we hold a team-building activity for our staff every year. We are keen to be part of our local community. We organize various activities to integrate the farm into the surrounding area. One example is the annual street party and the neighbourhood barbecue that we hold on our farm. We are also happy to throw the doors open to interested groups and schools, and we gladly run tours.

Alongside our social focus, our farm is also investing in environmentally friendly farming techniques. For example, we were among the first to use anti-drift nozzles, and we are committed to preserving the population of solitary bees in our orchards. We have placed nest boxes around our farm to help sustain the regional bird populations.

Mario Vanhellemont

Pome fruit