LiberTerre is a small company that, although having been around for seven years, still has an entrepreneurial spirit. Within my first week, this was made abundantly clear during my training – and made me that much more excited to dive into my role as Marketing Coordinator. I come from a small town, which means that growing up I worked almost exclusively for family-owned businesses, so at LiberTerre I felt right at home. My coworkers were a close-knit group of people with a passion for their work, a feeling reminiscent of my rural community.
The more I worked, the more I was able to see further connections between LiberTerre and my hometown. Within my first week I discovered the meaning behind the name. In Roman mythology “Liber” is often described as the protector of agriculture and fertility, and in French, “Terre” means earth. This meant that LiberTerre believes in protecting the earth in order to sustain life for future generations, but more than that, LiberTerre understands that it’s not just the earth that supports life. It’s also the people who produce food and the communities in which they live that collectively form a food ecosystem that must be sustained. This underlying philosophy made me proud to work for the company, while also it also made me determined to accurately represent the same values in my projects in a way that customers could be proud to buy from such a company.
My daily schedule consisted of checking emails, making a to do list and then getting to work on various presentations, research and social media updates. My favourite days, however, involved meeting with the CEO and various Directors to discuss updates on LiberTerre’s positioning, and brainstorming the future direction of the company. These meetings allowed me to glimpse the higher level thought process of in terms of what goes into running a company. My preparation for those meetings and others tasks, such as marketing support for customer and supplier relationships, allowed me to gather a better understanding of the daily inner workings of a company. In this way I was able to experience firsthand how roles at different levels promote change within a company.
Reflecting on my experiences and various interactions throughout the summer, I am able to see how much my approach to tasks has changed and how I will continue to apply what I have learned to my schooling and beyond. The two biggest things I will take away are the importance of both asking questions and authenticity. Although the idea of asking more questions is not novel, I personally do not like to ask a question for the sake of asking a question, which sometimes means I find myself asking too few. My experiences this summer pushed me to reflect on what I would be doing beforehand so that I came prepared to meetings and conversations with a list that allowed me to complete tasks to the best of my abilities. By the end of the summer I was able to better identify problems I could see myself running into, and therefore get the clarification I needed from the outset.
In terms of my other take away, I felt that authenticity was at the heart of everything I did. Sitting in brainstorm meetings with the CEO/founder allowed me to see a passion not only for his company, but also a passion to educate customers on what exactly it is that LiberTerre stands for. With this passion came the challenge of communicating LiberTerre’s values on sustainability in an authentic way. This was made especially difficult by the fact that the meat industry was foreign territory to me. I therefore found that in order to be authentic, you have to know what you’re talking about, and have a desire to continue to learn. This meant full immersion into pork terminology, blog posts and books. In this way I was able to better understand what the best way to raise animals is, and how crucial it is that that information is communicated to LiberTerre customers.
After sixteen weeks, I can confidently say that I have strengthened my beliefs in the importance of sustainability both environmentally and economically. These beliefs were born in my hometown, flourished during my summer at LiberTerre and will continue to develop into the future.