We foster a healthy and inclusive society. We strive for equitable practices that support our employees, industry and communities.
We’re on track to move into the certification phase of the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program by 2024 and have developed an approach to promote procurement and supply chain opportunities with Indigenous businesses.
30.8% of our new hires self-declared as members of employment equity groups. We also published our first Accessibility Plan in alignment with the Government of Canada’s Accessible Canada Act.
With the help of 90 industry partners, the equivalent of over 40 million meals for Canadians in need were collected through the annual Drive Away Hunger program. FCC contributed over 2.5 million meals towards this total.
We launched Rooted in Resilience, the second instalment in our mental health series. This series is designed for Canadian producers and highlights tips, resources, and stories to generate awareness and support for the industry.
Our goal is to help the industry and our customers achieve their full potential – and that includes initiatives to support under-represented groups, specifically Indigenous communities and Peoples, women entrepreneurs, and young farmers and entrepreneurs. Barriers to entry exist, such as farmland prices, start-up costs, access to capital or credit, regulatory requirements and agriculture knowledge.
FCC continues to develop a workforce that represents the diversity and strengths of the industry and communities we serve. FCC knows that a work environment that values diverse experiences and perspectives makes us stronger and more innovative. We ensure that our hiring practices are fair and that there is equitable access to employment opportunities.
FCC aims to attract qualified and diverse talent, including members of four designated groups: women, Indigenous, racialized or people of colour, people experiencing disability, and other equity-deserving talent. FCC continues to execute our Indigenous Employment Equity Plan, which focuses on workforce supply, talent and candidate readiness; recruitment, retention, advancement and partnership; and workplace inclusion and accountability.
We focus on retention through engaging employees with lived experience to help us understand if any barriers exist. In 2022-23, FCC created an Indigenous Affinity Group to support Indigenous employees and their allies. The Indigenous Affinity Group is supported by an Enterprise Management Team sponsor to ensure a direct link between Indigenous employees, their allies and leadership. This group, which includes employees from across the country, meets monthly to connect and discuss learning opportunities for the group and for their colleagues. In coming years, FCC plans to expand the affinity group model for other equity-deserving groups.
In 2022-23, FCC published its first Accessibility Plan in alignment with the Government of Canada’s Accessible Canada Act. Our three-year Accessibility Plan outlines gaps in accessibility that FCC has uncovered and steps it will take in the next three years to close those gaps as part of its commitment to making FCC barrier-free by 2040.
In November 2022, Rooted in Resilience, FCC’s new mental health publication, was delivered to 180,000 rural mailboxes across Canada and was made available online. It’s the second and latest mental health publication designed for Canadian producers, authored by mental health experts and created by FCC. The publication focuses on reinforcing resilient mindsets and behaviours by offering clear, practical steps to manage stress, anxiety and depression. It showcases inspirational stories from farm operators and families and professional advice that can help our customers and the industry to grow even stronger and continue to thrive.
Since its founding by FCC in 2004, the annual Drive Away Hunger campaign has been a catalyst for engaging the agriculture and food community in providing food and funds, and engaging in reclamation initiatives to support charitable food security agencies and programs across the country. FCC and our industry partners are proud to support this initiative. Of the 40 million meals collected in 2022, FCC contributed 2.5 million meals towards this year’s campaign, with the remaining meals donated by 90 agriculture and food partners across Canada. FCC also provided $200,000 in funding to school feeding programs at Indigenous and community schools nationwide.
FCC knows that food reclamation is an important strategy for reducing food insecurity and combating climate change. If we use more food that’s currently available, we can provide it to those struggling and reduce pressure to produce more. In 2019, FCC donated $150,000 to Canada’s largest charitable food distribution hub, Moisson Montréal, to establish a repackaging line. This line allows them to accept and redistribute large quantities of surplus fruit and vegetables to organizations that feed people in need. In 2022, 349,915 lbs were repackaged on the line and redistributed throughout Quebec and Ontario. Since the line became operational in 2021, 380,599 lbs of food have been saved, with an increase in production of over 10 times year over year.
It’s important the suppliers we work with share FCC values and reflect what we stand for. Our supply chain is typical of a financial institution, primarily IT hardware, software, professional consulting services, leases and leasehold improvements, office supplies, equipment and office furnishings.
FCC is transitioning to a centre-led procurement operating model that focuses on incorporating diversity into the organization’s procurement processes and outcomes, including setting and achieving specific procurement targets created to increase our procurement of goods and services through Indigenous businesses. In 2022-23, FCC leased office space from a First Nation landlord. To celebrate this partnership, an on-site land acknowledgement was delivered at the start of the space’s first official meeting.
In addition to focusing on Indigenous-owned businesses, the procurement program that FCC is developing will also focus on contracting with businesses that have similar values. For example, companies that have programs in place that support truth and reconciliation by means of their own awareness programs and hiring practices.