General Mills’ European Volunteer Team Earns Global Volunteer Award

Staff from Golden Bees

General Mills’ European Volunteer Team Earns Global Volunteer Award

The General Mills Foundation is proud to announce a Global Volunteer Award has been given to a unique volunteer team that supported a Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) project to help Golden Bees Ltd. in Uganda.

Golden Bees provides a wide range of beekeeping products and services, such as packaging and honey processing (sourced from over 2,000 local beekeepers), tinctures, beeswax, bee equipment, beekeeping feasibility studies, and beekeeping training and consultancies.

“When PFS came to General Mills with a project to help their client, Golden Bees, improve their inventory management system, develop a quality management system and a mini lab, and improve their use of a computerized accounting system, our volunteers across the globe were quick to raise their hands and form a new way of teaming up for a volunteer project,” says Minn Wang, senior program manager at the General Mills Foundation.

What resulted was the pilot of a volunteer team made up entirely of General Mills Europe employees.

“Our aim with this effort was to build up a workplace culture of volunteerism and teamwork at General Mills in Europe, and to offer our PFS client a project team that had the potential to work together seamlessly, avoiding the challenges of time zone differences and in some cases, working together on project work from the same location,” said Frederic Olivier, a manufacturing and engineering director for General Mills, Europe and Australia (EUAU), based in Nyon, Switzerland.

The six-month project included the following General Mills volunteers:   

Project Manager: Frederic Olivier (Nyon, Switzerland)

Supply Chain/Inventory Project: Michele Canepa (UK), Jonathan Barnett (UK)

Finance/Computerized Accounting System: Raffaele Virgilio (Nyon, Switzerland), Francois Rouet (Yoplait Plant in La Mans, France)

Quality/Quality Management System and Build-Up of Mini Lab: Carlota Gonzalo (San Adrian Plant in Spain) 

  “Each of these volunteers made themselves available to their project clients via WhatsApp for informal discussions and check-ins between their scheduled bi-weekly project calls, which helped to expedite project work and resulted in a satisfying experience for everyone involved,” says Frederic.

The Result: Today, Golden Bees has started to manage basic accountability with a new local software program. They have upgraded their quality lab and empowered the quality team with many of our team’s recommendations. And Golden Bees is operating by using an Excel inventory management tool built by General Mills.  

In an email to Frederick, Brian Mugisha, general manager of Golden Bees Ltd. said, “We are grateful for the General Mills PFS team’s immense contribution to Golden Bees. There is no way we can pay you back, other than working towards improving Golden Bees to one day be a ‘General Mills of Uganda.’ Fredrick, thank you for captaining us through these six months. We really appreciate the entire team’s world class business acumen.”

As a result of earning a Global Volunteer Award, members of this General Mills volunteer team will each receive a certificate of merit, a magnetic medal, and they will collectively choose a qualifying nonprofit of their choice to make a $500 foundation grant to.

 

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