Kerry has been working with Evolvin’ Women since 2021, starting off with a small Kerry team in Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan volunteering to mentor women. The company followed the onboarding process, and were paired with mentees, connecting through regular conversations that explored everything from navigating role changes at work to integrated personal goals.
In 2022, the Kerry foodservice team of flavour professionals also created a training programme based on their global expertise in specialty beverage, which included a certification to prepare voluntary participants with the knowledge and skills to work in beverage-focused cafes. The programme included hours of training and culminated in a recipe book featuring the stories of the participants and their plans for using their new skills. Since the programme, some 90% of participants have moved into food and beverage roles.
This year, and based on the growing momentum of co-creating practical, skill-building projects, Kerry approached Evolvin’ Women to elevate the operations at one of Kerry’s biggest commercial events of the year: Gulfood Manufacturing 2023. This annual trade show unifies the F&B industry across MISA, and post-pandemic, it has emerged as a platform to connect with partners, customers, and better understand and support the broader dynamics affecting allied industries.
For Gulfood, Kerry has a team of Evolvin’ Women participants joining their booth operations team, expanding the company’s ability to host a smooth visitor experience at the trade show. They will partner with Kerry for guest reception and registration, connecting customers with Kerry experts, running the hospitality and concept-tasting menus, and extending Kerry’s customer outreach efforts.
Commenting on the partnership, Leanna Mix, marketing director of Middle East retail, Kerry, said: “We are excited to collaborate on a first for both organizations: for the Kerry retail team, it’s a chance to work with hospitality professionals who embody the ‘service heart’ – the training and development for Evolvin’ Women is through world class HoReCa (hotel, restaurant, catering/cafe) organisations, and represents the gold standard for guest reception. It is our honour to work with a team of dedicated women who understand the immeasurable value of an elevated guest experience.
“Some members of our Kerry team began their careers in HoReCa, so they can share how they moved to the manufacturing and supply side. Through our unique pathways, we can expand awareness among the Evolvin’ Women clients on the different ways to build careers in the food and beverage industry. As an organisation with local operations in many of the countries Evolvin’ Women participants come from, Kerry is now working to engage and empower them as they graduate from the programme.”
Assia Riccio, Founder, Evolvin’ Women, added: “This is an exciting partnership that will build on the skill sets our participants have developed while enrolled in the programme. They will work closely with Kerry’s team and gain experience from their global expertise in project management and customer service.”