"Working as an in-house lawyer in the legal team at Foodstuffs is about being passionate about what we do, the Co-op and the grocery sector.

What I love about our business is the ‘can do’ attitude and the passion of our Operators. Foodies is big enough to make a difference to the lives of New Zealanders, yet we’re small enough that you can genuinely get to know our Owners on a personal basis.

The Foodies Legal Team handles all legal and compliance functions of the Co-op. On a day to day basis, this could mean us working on all sorts of things, including marketing and alcohol law, tech and privacy, helping our Owners through change in supermarket ownership transactions, media queries, property deals, and guiding the business through crisis management.  We also work on key contracts with our supplier partners and help out social business Eat My Lunch who Foodstuffs has proudly invested in.

To be effective as a small team we need to be lawyers that are commercial, resourceful and ‘in it together’, and we need to take a real partnering approach.  We are all driven to help the Co-op and our Operators manage their legal risk so that our iconic Kiwi brands and stores remain strong and protected.

We have helped the Co-op tackle plenty of things in recent years. We have been through one of New Zealand’s biggest mergers, completely changed our IT platform and entered the online space.

One initiative the Foodies Legal Team has helped on this year that we are particularly proud to be involved in is the launch of the Foodies Foundation.

Sometimes life has a habit of throwing curve balls that we might not be equipped to deal with it, so the Foodies Foundation was set up as a central vehicle to help our Foodies family in times of hardship (e.g. terminal cancer, natural disasters).  It is a Trust funded by Foodies people to help Foodies people in times of need.

The Foodies Foundation is at the heart of the Co-op, it’s strongly aligned to our purpose and to our values of in it together and courageous.

I have been privileged to be involved with the Foundation as a Trustee.  Since the Foundation was launched, we have already had to deal with some devastating personal circumstances, which really do put your own perceived life challenges into perspective.  In the midst of loss and tragedy, it has been great to provide some financial relief. To this end, we are working hard to drive fundraising initiatives and grow awareness for the Foundation to ensure we are in a position to keep helping out our Foodies family in times of need."

Written by Julian Benefield, Associate General Counsel at Foodstuffs. If you want to learn more about the Foodies Foundation and see the video, click here: