The choice of destination for my internship was not easy: I had a lot of tracks across Europe, but only one interested me: the plant Lallio Bonduelle, near Bergamo (40km from Milan) in Italy. After finding an internet shared apartment near the factory, I decided I was then left for a month in total isolation in a country where I did not speak the language. But, I was ready to hang on to best get involved in this plant's salads, where I performed various tasks which made me discover all the facets of a large factory's distribution network.
To better understand the context in which I worked, the first part will be devoted to the description of the company. We discuss its history and its location, and also its organization. After discussing the specifics of this company, we will see in the second part how the internship took place. This section will describe the different tasks of my job, and the contact between employees.
The Bonduelle company was founded in 1853 under the name "Lesafre and Bonduelle," but the Bonduelle brand as we know it began in 1947, to revive the company after seven years of cessation of activity due to war. The brand has slowly evolved, with innovative new products such as frozen vegetables in 1968, buying plants in France and abroad: in 1969 in Germany, in 1972 in Italy. It was not until 1997 that Bonduelle entered the world of fresh food products in four factories in France. In 1999, the brand Bonduelle Frais moved to Italy. The brand has now established itself as the world leader for processed vegetables, located in 18 countries with 37 production sites, exported to 80 countries, with a turnover in 2008 of 1.49 billion euros. In Italy, Bonduelle had three plants: two located in the region of Bergamo (Lallio and Costa di Mezzate) and one in the Naples area (Battipaglia).
[...] The salads are grown in the periphery of Bergamo by independent vegetable growers who deliver the salad after it has already been thinned. The process involves: checking, washing, bagging and shipping an average of 110 tons per week, resulting in 5350 tons of lettuce produced per year. Despite the crisis which reduced the turnover of the plant by about 10% the production target for 2010 is 5,500 tons, an achievable goal for the development of the entire production process after the establishment of the plant. The summer period is a period of strong interaction between the plants at Bonduelle Italy. [...]
[...] We will discuss its history and situation, as well as its organization. After dealing with the specifics of this company, we will see in the second part, how the course was conducted. In this part we will describe the different tasks of my job, and the relationships maintained between employees. I / the company Bonduelle Bonduelle in the world The company Bonduelle was founded in 1853 under the name "Lesafre and Bonduelle," but the Bonduelle brand as we know it emerged in 1947 to revive the company after seven years of cessation of activity due to war. [...]
[...] I discovered how to run a factory of this size and I realized that working in industry imposed many constraints of production. Now that I have done this course, I think I better understood how to lead a team, and all those lessons may be used in my future professional life. Finally, this course showed me that life is full of constraints: time, production targets, stress, physical exertion, and hierarchy, but it is also full of satisfactions such as pride of accomplishment, discovery of another team, and learning from each other. [...]
[...] Thus I stayed for two weeks in the store, two weeks in the department receiving raw materials, and some days were devoted to different tasks which I will describe later. The store is the largest room of the factory and is used to store rolls of plastic film for packaging salads, plastic crates and folded cardboard. All the elements necessary for the production process other than salads are also stored. Three machines take up most of the space in this room. [...]
[...] My integration in each of the teams with which I was led to work was obviously not difficult. I was not left out, not even by the plant manager, who took me one day to a supplier one day. He also spent a few hours the first day to show me around the factory and explain to me what he expected of me. The store manager, a 30year old young Italian often took me out on holidays and weekends, everyone wanted me to feel good, both during my presence at the factory and out of it. [...]
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