MD of Iceland Foods and year 2 speaker Richard Walker joins us on the podcast to discuss the big business conundrum

Given the choice, most of us would opt for a relatively easy life pathway and if your family business was not involved in servicing the needs of the many, then even better. Not so for the Walker family. Not happy with setting up Iceland, Richard’s mum and dad also ran a fish and chip shop Thurs-Sat so when the day job finished, the evening shift began.

That work ethic has moved down the tree and after pursuing a career in property away from the family business, Richard made the not-so-easy decision to roll his sleeves up and join the family fray.

We agreed that the best way would be for me to work in the shops for a year. I stacked the shelves, drove the van and worked on the check out. I needed to understand the business, the nuts and bolts of it all. Also very humbling in terms of understanding how hard our colleagues work to ensure the success of the business.

Iceland has taken a lead position on many issues around business and supply chain sustainability, and this is not done lightly or without controversy. Sticking a head above the parapet always brings fire, but the industry is lazy in general with business and consumers alike quite addicted to plastic. In general this lead approach has moved the widely accepted positions to Iceland’s way of thinking.

If you’ve only got £25 a week to spend on food, you’re not wasting a penny! A lot of the messaging around food waste is the wrong way round. It’s quite establishment or celebrity chefs talking about you can use disused carrot tops….actually if you’ve got no time or money, the real insights and knowledge are our customers who are experts in saving money and not wasting food.

Podcast host Laura Nesbitt relates her personal life touch points with Iceland retail and also the prodigious charitable actions by the retailer including with Surfers Against Sewage, Alzheimers Research and Sepsis Awareness.

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