Farm Trans & Sustainability: Interview with Reynout Walkate – QESH-Manager
21 | 06 | 2023
What does your job as QESH-manager entail?
‘Our departments do a great job of keeping themselves running, but there’s also the big picture. That big picture is mine to guard. That can involve anything from making sure we comply with governmental laws and regulations, to more practical, hands-on things. Take our drivers handbook. It used to be a very prescriptive book mostly about all that things our drivers weren’t allowed to do. We talked to a few of our drivers and asked them: what do you actually need from this handbook? Their answer was clear: guidance when something unexpected happens on the road. We’re now completely rewriting the handbook based on that insight. One of my colleagues is even working on an app to make it as easy as possible to find the right information when you’re on the road. Overall, the most important thing is to not focus on what any individual within this company is doing, but to look at the processes. Of course you can never control everything, but altering a process results in a different outcome. That’s what we’re aiming for.’
Could you give an example of how changing a process results in better outcomes?
‘We are constantly working to increase safety for our people. For instance, anytime our drivers deliver a shipment of onions or potatoes, food safety guideline mandate the cleaning of the trailers. We know however that getting into the trailer to clean it can be dangerous. So to make this as safe as possible and avoid accidents, we now have harnesses and lifting equipment in our workshop. We also installed cameras on the trucks. This allows our drivers to monitor the loading process from their cabin, instead of having to climb up the side of the trailer’.
You are also a member of the Farm Trans sustainability group. What topics does the group focus on?
‘Being a sustainable employer can involve a wide array of topics. When I first started at Farm Trans, questions raised in the group ranged from ‘how much CO2 emission are we responsible for’ to ‘when are we going bowling with the whole company again’. That’s why we decided to take things back to the basics. For example, we are looking at qualifying for a sustainability certificate. Of course a certificate doesn’t fix everything, but it does confirm that we’re on the right track.’
What has your impression of Farm Trans been so far?
‘What still impresses me every day, is everyone’s ambition to simply provide the best transport possible. But while we work really hard, we don’t lose sight of each other. We are good at finding moments of lightness and laughter together. That kind of work culture is invaluable.’