Recognized as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2023):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 27, 2023)
Here are some of the reasons why Trouw Nutrition Canada Inc. was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2023):
- Trouw Nutrition Canada helps employees access the care they need, recently increasing coverage for mental health supports to $2,000 annually, and offers free virtual yoga and meditation sessions
- Trouw Nutrition Canada supports lifelong learning with tuition subsidies for courses taken externally ($2,000 per year) and up to 26 weeks of paid educational leave
- Trouw Nutrition Canada helps employees prepare for life after work with retirement planning assistance services, along with a defined contribution pension plan
Values and connection lead the way at Trouw Nutrition
With over 1,200 full-time staff spread over three regions across Canada, it’s important that employees at Trouw Nutrition Canada Inc. feel connected. For Bastiaan Bartelse, director of human resources at Trouw, it all comes down to shared values.
The company, which manufactures and distributes animal feed under brand names like Shur-Gain, has five core values, notes Bartelse: “Trust, inclusivity, curiosity, integrity and passion. We try to find people who connect to those values.”
And while the company looks for employees with a broad range of skills, from manufacturing and research to sales and customer service, “we believe strongly that skills you can develop, value-based competencies and behaviour, are essential,” he says.
Remote work wasn’t unusual at Trouw before the pandemic lockdowns, but the company knew that maintaining the relationships that had built up between in-office workers was important.
Communications specialist Anne-Marie Saint-Germain says the company encouraged staff to take 15-minute “coffee breaks” with each other at the beginning and end of each week, with no agenda except to catch up with each other’s lives, “like we would do by the coffee machines at the office.”
Saint-Germain says the company excels at encouraging employees to acquire new skills. Workday, an internal software application, lets them subscribe to training in everything from nutrition to languages. There are also 100 per cent tuition subsidies for certification and degree courses.
“If you’re interested in learning, interested in this business, there’s always a place for people here,” she says. “Everybody eats three times a day, so everybody should be interested in agriculture.”
Bartelse says that as a private, family-owned business, Trouw can focus on employees instead of shareholders, and that internal advancement is a priority: “It brings a different perspective to how we do business and provides continuity,” he says.
“We really want our people to be closely connected to the local industry, to the local communities and to our customers.”
Volunteer work is one way to maintain this connection, and Bartelse says the company does this with both sponsorships and volunteer hours. “We have a volunteer day where people contribute time to a cause, which we facilitate with co-ordination and T-shirts in addition to the time off,” he says.
“We have local communities where things are organized, from holidays to local engagement programs. You need to feel part of the team in whatever local office or region you’re working.”
Saint-Germain describes herself as a big volunteer, with a list of causes she tries to support, but says previous employers have never recognized how that volunteer work helps her with her job.
“All the skills I've learned in my different roles are really recognized here by HR,” she says. “To be this encouraged at work – this is the first time I’ve lived it. They say that by doing this work you get more skills and this is going to benefit us.”
Bartelse says this is all integral to Trouw’s mission. “We are a company with relevance – our purpose is to feed the future. If you relate to that purpose, we really are the company you want to look into.”