A letter from the Chair
Our Managing Director, Simon, is excited to share our plans and hopes for the year.
I’m very happy to have my first opportunity to address our customers on this new forum. I feel grateful and motivated to take on the challenges of 2020. Every day, I get to see how great our team is, with a shared passion to provide a quality product with world-class customer service to all our customers. Our ambition is clear: we want to be the first choice of our customers, and to impress them again and again.
It’s been said, “the only constant is change.” And that was certainly true of the year 2019 for H Foster. It began with relocating our head office from Theale to a converted 18th-century brewery in beautiful Goring-on-Thames. After that, I hired my new Personal Assistant, Michelle, to help with my day-to-day responsibilities.
Later in the year, we appointed the services of esteemed marketing company Nixon Design to re-brand our companies and redesign their websites. With their help we have distilled our offering, audiences and points of difference into a set of core values. Individually, they describe how and why we do what we do; taken together, they form our unique brand identity. Our brand values are: Established, Innovative, Family-run, Responsible and Efficient – and we’re committed to upholding them daily in the way we run our company.
On the administrative side of the business, we made the decision to install a new CRM system. Alongside this, we’ve begun to integrate a new Business Management System in the place of our Quality Management System to help us manage our ISO 9001 accreditation and to help facilitate the award of our ISO 14001, which we hope to achieve before the end of 2020.
Our e-commerce business has been branded ‘1875’ and will be moving into its own dedicated warehouse unit in March. It will be based at the same site on Washington Street, Kirkstall Road, Leeds. We have lots of new and fun ideas for 1875, so keep an eye on our website.
H Foster is particularly committed to environmental stewardship – promoting innovation, increasing efficiencies and reducing waste. Our environmental impact comes mainly from office energy use and packaging. We’ve optimised the footprint of our offices by moving to a smaller, more space-efficient location, and have appointed an energy supplier that uses 100% renewable energy. We’re investigating compostable and recyclable packaging for 1875, and hope to be plastic-free by the end of 2020.
As a family-owned business, we have a deep-rooted belief in our company as a positive force for change in our society. Our business values and social values go hand-in-hand, and form a strong root system that nourishes us and drives us to work with sustainability as an integrated part of the company’s strategy.
We invest and develop, measure and follow up. To continue the work of the earlier generations of this distinguished family company, a conscientious decision must be made; to both want and dare to carry on the legacy.
My ambition is that H Foster will be around for at least another 145 years. I’m proud of – and grateful for – the way our employees make their mark every day by developing our business.
With warm regards,