Letter from the Chair 2020
Our MD Simon reflects on the year.
2020 - A number and a date that is embossed into our minds. The year that changed how we live and spend time with our friends and families. No one would have been able to predict the dramatic events of 2020, nor the ever-evolving impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. It has drastically changed our working life and how we interact with each other.
H Foster, like many others, has had a challenging year. We are proud of the way in which we have reacted to the changed operating environment, including most of the staff moving to work remotely, without interruption to their activities or to client services. Through conference calls, email, and other technologies, I am delighted to say that we have adapted incredibly to this new challenge.
Across all departments, we continue to provide the high levels of service our customers expect of us, and our phone numbers and emails are contactable as normal. A special mention must go to our Leeds based staff, who have managed to keep the warehouse operation running smoothly with very little downtime for themselves.
As a group and team, we cannot wait to embrace 2021. I believe this is the age of the SME. Lean, focused and offering unrivalled services to our valued customers.
It is with the greatest pleasure that I have invited my son Tom to join the board of the holding company and the trading operations. He is the next generation and has exciting ideas as to how the group will move forward. We are a family business steeped in tradition but with an eye very much on moving forward into the exciting new age of opportunity. Companies cannot stand still and must embrace change and move with each new generation.
On the 1st January 2020, our focus was Brexit, and it will be again on the 31st December.
REACH is a concern, so we have appointed a very competent firm of consultants who will work with our partners and ourselves to embrace the new UK REACH in whatever form it will take. We greatly value our partners and indeed customers outside the U.K. We are exploring approaches that will enable us to trade outside the U.K. without constraints of U K borders and boundaries.
This year we are proud to have had our ISO 9001 awarded again and we have passed the first stage of our ISO 14001 accreditation. I am quietly confident that our commitment to the environment and the work we have put in to creating a working, environmentally focussed Business Management System will make the award of the certification in February 2021 a mere formality.
I am also very excited to announce that we will be launching Stephenson’s range of Crystal products to our online shop, adding an impressive portfolio to our existing range of melt and pour soap bases and natural waxes.
As a final note, I would like to thank our suppliers and customers for all their support in 2020 and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!