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W W W. F O O D A N D D R I N K N E W S . C O . U K

{ November / December 2017 }





November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

{ Editor’s Foreword }

Christmas Choice

PUBLISHER Planet Media & Design Ltd Brooke’s Mill, Huddersfield HD4 7NR




CHIEF EDITOR Michelle Hodgson

SUB-EDITOR Rachael Whiteley

SOCIAL MEDIA Benjamin Wainman

CONTACT US: FACEBOOK @food&drinkmagazine

INSTAGRAM @food&drinkmagazine

TWITTER @food_drink_news



iscounters may keep prices down in part by limiting their product range but the major multiples could find it counterproductive to follow suit, according to a recent IRI ( report into shopping habits (October 2017). The report found that more UK shoppers (60%) base their choice of supermarket on the range of products on offer rather than on price and promotions (50%). Convenience is also a major driver (70%), although only 27% cite loyalty cards as a factor. When it comes to choice, we also like to offer a good range for our readers, with particular focus in this edition on cheese, fish, ready meals, bakery and meat – all of which may find their way to the table over the coming festive season. As this will be our last issue of 2017, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Michelle Hodgson CHIEF EDITOR

Food & Drink News is published by Planet Media & Design Ltd. Company registered in England & Wales, number 09365661. All material is the copyright of Planet Media & Design Ltd. All rights reserved. Food & Drink News is the property of Planet Media & Design Ltd. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form, whole or part, without the written permission of a Director of Planet Media & Design Ltd. Liability: while every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers can not be held responsible for the accuracy of information herein, or any consequence arising from it. In the case of company or product reviews or comments, these have been based upon the true and honest opinion of the Editor at the time of going to press.

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Industry News }


Iconic meat SPAM® Chopped Pork and Ham is now available in a Hot & Spicy variety in the UK. Asda is the first supermarket to stock the 200g can. Made from a minimum of 90% shoulder pork and leg ham, with chilli pepper extract to give it an extra kick, SPAM® Hot & Spicy is ideal for use in stir fries, fried rice and noodle dishes, and even fajitas. It’s hoped the latest variety will attract new and lapsed users to the brand, while giving existing fans adventurous new ways to enjoy SPAM® Chopped Pork and Ham. Liz Dee, Marketing Manager of the Hormel office at Tulip Foods, commented: “SPAM® Products have an extremely loyal customer base here in the UK. We’ve received many requests from fans, through our popular Facebook page, to launch a spicy version of SPAM® Chopped Pork and Ham, along with their suggestions for convenient meals and snacks.” Liz continued: “Now we can give fans another reason to enjoy the unique taste of SPAM® Chopped Pork and Ham, as well as the versatile ways it can be used”. SPAM® Hot & Spicy is available in a 200g can at an RRP of £1.70.


VIKAN LAUNCHES FOUR NEW STAINLESS STEEL SCRAPERS To facilitate more effective removal of sticky, dried and burnt-on soils, Vikan has launched four new Stainless Steel Scrapers. Both hand-held and extendable versions with a threaded handle are available, each in two popular sizes. The new Stainless Steel Scrapers were developed to deal with some of the toughest stains in the food and beverage industry including: • dough, confectionery gels and pastes • soft chocolate, cheese • dried powders, other bakery debris • hardened chocolate • burnt-on meat and other soils A stainless spring steel blade, a highstrength attachment and – in the handheld models – an ergonomic finger rest enable forceful soil removal without the use of excessive hot water or detergents. While tough on soils, rounded blade corners ensure that these scrapers go easy on surfaces so cleaning staff can protect

tables, other work surfaces, equipment and utensils while keeping them cleaner. Depending on the version, the Stainless Steel Scrapers come in up to nine colours. The Scraper’s threaded handle is designed to fit any of Vikan’s colour-coded and threaded handles.

Find out more from, contact Vikan Customer Service at or call 01793 716760

DIRECT FOOD INGREDIENTS WELCOMES FIVE NEW FACES Andrew Aitchison, Emma Woolley, Mandy Murphy and Sofia Chinea-Rodriguez will work across a variety of areas at the company’s HQ, situated in the UK, while Olmer Hercules joins the team at the Los Angeles office. Sales Account Executive Andrew brings with him several years food industry experience. Emma will work within Direct Food Ingredients’ quality department as an administrator; her expertise in the pet nutrition market will develop this area of the business. Mandy takes up the role of Customer Service Administrator and Sales Support Administrator Sofia will assist the sales department, helping with customer requests. Based at Direct Food Ingredients’ office in Los Angeles, Olmer will provide administration support to the company’s dedicated US base. Steve Loake, MD, said: “We are thrilled to

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

be strengthening our team with five new experienced professionals. As demand grows, it’s important that we have the very best personnel in place to continue to ensure we deliver unrivalled customer service here in the UK and internationally”. The business is an established leader in the importation, storage and distribution of functional foods, nutritional and sports ingredients as well as vitamin and mineral premixes.

For more info please see

{ Industry News }


Bright Goods LED filament lamps have been installed throughout the Fuller’s managed pub estate to reduce energy and maintenance costs. Bright Goods LED filament lamps from LED Eco Lights were first installed in The Sail Loft, a newly built Fuller’s pub in Greenwich, in a lighting scheme created by the Light Corporation who have designed, managed and delivered the project. The Sail Loft is part of the new Greenwich Reach development, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows on three sides and a large terrace facing the Thames with views of Canary Wharf, Cutty Sark and the O2 Arena. Its interior takes inspiration from its location, and features nautical touches and maritime bric-a-brac adorning the walls. Tim Henderson, Director of the Light Corporation, said: “We gave the lighting a nautical spin, locating the Bright Goods lamps within basket-style lampshades for example. Bright Goods LED filament lamps are in a class of their own for this kind of setting, offering energy efficient LED technology in a warm, retro style that perfectly suited the ambiance of the pub. The Sail Loft is a large, open-plan site able to seat 300 people – yet the lighting makes it feel intimate, especially in the evening”.

Fuller’s contracted the Light Corporation to survey a substantial part of its managed estate of just under 200 pubs, and recommended low energy Bright Goods LED replacements for each light on the premises. Bright Goods LED lamps are also being fitted into existing Fuller’s pubs as they are refurbished and to other new pubs as they are built. Pubs completed include The Tea Merchant, Canary Wharf; The Pilot, Chiswick; The Queen’s Head, Hammersmith; The Hydrant, Monument; The Pilgrim Inn, Southampton and The William Walker, Winchester. Commenting, Peter Turner, Property Director at Fuller’s, said: “We were very impressed with the appearance of Bright Goods LED lights. They provide illumination that is as warm and welcoming as a filament bulb, maintaining the all-important ambience of the pub in the evening. It is also highly controllable, and can be dimmed as required. It allows us to maintain a traditional feel while reducing our carbon footprint”.

Tel: 01276 691 230 Email:


Huegli Snack Seasonings is a specialised business unit within the Huegli group of companies, supplying seasonings and other ingredients to snack manufacturers right across Europe. With our portfolio of ingredients in all sectors of the food industry, we are well positioned to provide unique solutions for your snacking needs. This could be tailored to meet ever more demanding requirements for healthier recipes such as low salt, low sugar, gluten free or organic etc. We also offer a wide range of added benefit components such as provenance ingredients, air-dried fruits and vegetables and our brand new range of flavoured oils. Team this up with our extensive range of packaging options such as small sachet packs and we can add value to your snacking needs. As the snack market dynamic is ever changing, our creative development team work closely with our customers using our bespoke market insight research to assist your development needs for the future. Whether you are looking for the next flavour trend or innovative ingredients to add value, we are here to help you. Think of us as an extension to your own development team.

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{ Industry News }

WERIT WORLD FIRST WITH BRC ACCREDITATION FOR ITS UK INDUSTRIAL PACKAGING PRODUCTION PLANT WERIT UK, a leading UK manufacturer of intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), canisters, containers and pallets, has recently announced the award of British Retail Consortium (BRC) accreditation at its factory in Irlam, Manchester. Qualification for this accreditation saw WERIT UK embark on an 18-month journey which included a full review of operational, quality and administrative processes to ensure conformity with the BRC standard. The food industry is one of the most legislated in the world and all stakeholders within its UK supply chain are demanding complete traceability from their suppliers. The desire to achieve BRC accreditation was driven by customers seeking to ensure that the standards already in existence were verified by a recognised external standard specific to the food industry. Essentially, the quality, safety and legal standards maintained within

WERIT UK’s manufacturing facility are proven to be directly equivalent and compatible with those of the food production facilities of its own customers. If a supplier gains certification against the BRC global standard it assures the customer that they are dealing with a company that reaches high levels of competence in areas critical to the delivery of products with food grade quality and integrity. “We are increasingly seeing customers within the food industry demanding BRC accreditation. Not only are the food manufacturers doing so but retailers demand that every part of their supply chain be BRC accredited,” stated Jason Waywell, National Sales Manager at Werit UK. “The food industry is a strategic market for us and we are 100% committed to this investment to ensure that we manufacture and deliver product that is fit for use in this heavily

legislated market”. WERIT have also launched the NUTRIline IBC which is expected to be a popular choice amongst customers in the food industry. Manufactured from virgin food grade polymer, this IBC range can be fitted with WERIT’s unique trumpet style piston valve which offers up to 400% less leakage with recurring use compared to the competition. Further information can be found at

PA PASS MAJOR MILESTONE A north-west manufacturer of packaging machinery has passed a major milestone having completed its financial year on 30 September with total turnover exceeding £10.5m. In 2014, the family owned business set an aggressive growth target and since then has seen turnover increase by more than 50%. This success has been achieved through teamwork and a clear focus by all employees on one goal. Headquartered in Knutsford, Packaging Automation Ltd employs a workforce of about 115 which is set to increase to 125 in the next 12 months. With all of the company’s products being designed and manufactured in house, a large proportion of the employees are highly skilled engineers, many of whom have developed their skills as apprentices with the business. Much of the growth has been generated through export sales as a result of a strategy to target specific countries and emerging markets where there has been an increase in demand for packaged foods. Sam Ashton, Commercial Director of PA,


commented: “This has been a hugely challenging but satisfying year for the whole team at PA, and the record results have been achieved through the hard work and dedication of all of our employees. Having market-leading patented technology supported by a workforce who are focused on supporting

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

our customers is a winning combination. We will not be resting on our laurels as we enter our next financial year with a full order book and a desire to continue to be the best supplier in our market”.

Tel: 01565 755000

{ Industry News }

WINTERINGHAM FIELDS FESTIVE MENU “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.” — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol And where better to enjoy laughter, good humour and great food this festive season than around a table at Winteringham Fields? Located a skipping stone’s throw from the Humber, Head Chef Colin McGurran’s Michelin-recommended restaurant has become one of the area’s, if not the country’s, best foodie sanctuaries. Befitting its 16th century old stone exterior, the restaurant itself is a snug warren of dining and private rooms. Furnished in a rustic, country house theme, with roaring fires, antiques and curiosities, and earthy, warming tones, it’s an idyllic place to relax over the Christmas period. Full of natural pairings, inspired twists and wonderfully warming flavours, their festive lunch menus play out over three and six acts. Featuring a variety of dishes, from game terrine and quince membrillo to navarin of lamb with root vegetables grown on their

own humble farm, Winteringham Fields promises a memorable experience that will stay with you long after your last bite. Their dessert menu is a sweet-tooth’s fantasy, with both indulgent and comforting desserts such as apple mille-feuille, vanilla crème, salted caramel and blackberry & almond frangipane. For those with a more savoury preference, sampling the excellent cheese trolley along with a warming glass of mulled wine is a must. For the most curious culinary pilgrim, the

eight-course festive surprise menu is full of unexpected twists and unputdownable flavours. Inspired by the changing of the seasons and appropriately accompanied by the master sommelier’s wine selection, the menu is sure to surprise even the most well-travelled palates. Of course, the culinary experience alone is not the only string to Winteringham Fields’ bow. This sheltered, converted barnhouse and eight-acre plot boasts 15 luxurious five-star rooms, first-class facilities and stunning views of natural beauty at every turn – perfect for a magical Christmas getaway.

3-course Christmas lunch: £49.50pp 6-course Christmas lunch (Wed–Sat): £60pp 8-course Christmas surprise: £85pp

HERBS UNLIMITED CELEBRATES 25 YEARS SUPPLYING THE UK TRADE WITH FRESHLY CUT HERBS, BABY LEAF SALADS AND EDIBLE FLOWERS The company grows traditional and speciality herbs alongside baby leaf salads, edible flowers and other speciality winter products such as kale and flower sprouts on its 120-acre farm at Sandhutton, near Thirsk, supplying the wholesale, catering, food manufacturing and retail sectors. Founded by chef Alison Dodd in 1992 from her kitchen table Herbs Unlimited now employs a dedicated team of 45 people. Her son Philip is currently Operations Director and a succession plan is in place for this family owned business to continue as a leading supplier for many years to come. Herbs Unlimited Managing Director, Alison Dodd, said: “I started the company back in 1992 because the fresh herbs I wanted for my dishes were hard to come by at that time. “A business like ours can never stand still and we’re constantly innovating and

investing in both equipment and staff to maximise market opportunities. While Brexit has brought uncertainty to the market, it has also brought a renewed interest in sourcing from the UK and supporting British growing and we are well placed to make the most of that. Our customers appreciate that we are

small enough to provide flexibility for them but large enough to be relied upon for yearround supply and expertise.” Herbs Unlimited pick and pack freshly cut herbs for the whole of the UK, with their own temperature controlled fleet and overnight deliveries going out six nights a week. BRC certified washing, slicing, and bowl chopping are available for all products in their high care processing plant and through product trials and sampling for NPD they are valued by their customers as an essential partner for developing new products using freshly cut herbs and salads as well as their core business of supplying packed herbs, baby leaf salad and edible flowers to the wholesale trade.

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Industry News }

SCHÄR LAUNCHES SEVEN NEW PRODUCTS INTO UK SUPERMARKETS Schär, the UK’s fastest growing gluten free brand, has added seven delicious new products to its range. These latest launches, which follow previous bakery and bread releases, demonstrate the company’s ongoing commitment to bringing choice and innovation to gluten free consumers in the UK. Schär has made its debut into the UK bakery mix category with the launch of the Mix It! Universal, an all-purpose flour mix. The mix is the first gluten free all-purpose flour, of its kind, to launch in UK supermarkets. Schär has also launched the first-to-market gluten free Waffles, three new chocolate biscuit lines, a High Fibre Crisp Bread and a delicious Deli Style Seeded Loaf. The biscuit products include: Schär Chocolate O’s, Schär Chocolate Shorts and Schär Luxury Chocolate Biscuits. Schär’s new products ensure gluten free shoppers have no need to compromise on taste or quality, with recipes inspired by expert bakers, and using only the best quality ingredients. Schär Waffles: Ideal for an indulgent weekend brunch or as a delicious dessert piled high with toppings. The waffles can be warmed in the toaster and are ready to eat in just 30 seconds for ultimate convenience. four waffles per pack. (Now available in Tesco, 100g. RRP: £2.00) Schär Deli Style Seeded Loaf: A greattasting seeded loaf baked to perfection with a blend of five grains and seeds; including buckwheat, rice, linseed, sunflower and chia seeds. High in fibre and low in saturated fat. (Now available in Tesco, 250g. RRP: £2.00) Schär Mix it! Universal – all-purpose flour mix: This versatile gluten and wheat free mix is suitable for sweet or savoury baking. Suitable for vegans. (Now available in Waitrose, 500g. RRP: £2.00)


Schär Chocolate O’s: Formerly known as Mini Os, these O-so-delicious snacks, now made with an improved recipe, contain a soft and creamy vanilla centre, sandwiched between two light and crunchy biscuits. Now available in a larger 16-biscuit pack. (Now available in Waitrose, 165g. RRP: £2.10) Schär Chocolate Shorts: Bite-sized biscuits, topped with scrumptious dark chocolate. A delectable snack, perfect for afternoon tea! 16 biscuits per pack (Now available in Asda, 150g. RRP: £2.00) Schär Luxury Chocolate Biscuits: Pleasure seekers will simply love this crisp biscuity base, generously coated in luxurious chocolate. Warning! You won’t want to stop at one. 12 biscuits per pack. (Now available in Waitrose, 200g. RRP: £2.60) Schär High Fibre Crisp Bread: A buckwheat-based, nutritious, on-the-go snack. Suitable for vegans and low in fat, 21 crispbreads

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

per pack. (Now available in Waitrose, 125g. RRP: £1.35) Bradley Grimshaw, UK Managing Director of DR Schär UK, comments: “We are delighted to be the first gluten free brand to release an all-purpose flour mix into UK supermarkets. The launch of the Mix It! Universal comes at a time when the UK bakery mix category is growing strongly year on year, and we are excited to be offering customers something completely new. We are also pleased to extend our range to include the first-to-market gluten free Schär Waffles, once again providing genuine innovation for our customers. With 50% of households now buying gluten free, it has never been a more exciting time to be part of this category. We are thrilled to be able to offer an extended selection of delicious, high-quality products to help satisfy this increased consumer demand”.

{ Industry News }

CARGILL SETS CLEAR COURSE FOR COCOA SUSTAINABILITY Cargill has published its third report on the progress and achievements of the Cargill Cocoa Promise, its commitment to sparking a more sustainable cocoa sector for generations to come. Building on a decades-long focus on sustainability, the Cargill Cocoa Promise has so far supported more than 145,000 farmers worldwide with market access, training and resources, while working with almost 500 farmer organisations and cooperatives. Now the Cargill Cocoa Promise is continuing to evolve to meet the most pressing needs of cocoa farmers and communities, with the establishment of a future pathway aligned with the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). “Supporting smallholder farmers to build more resilient and sustainable businesses has been at the core of our own cocoa and chocolate business ethos for over two decades”, said Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate President, Harold Poelma. “But the challenges smallholder farmers face have changed – and our strategy has evolved

accordingly. Using the learnings and insights gathered over the years, we have charted a course for the future impact of the Cargill Cocoa Promise.” This year’s report focuses on progress in the areas of direct sourcing, limiting deforestation, improving traceability and building up the socioeconomic resilience of farmers and their wider communities. Eighty-five percent of Cargill’s sustainable cocoa is sourced directly from farmers through farmer organisations and

cooperatives. Working with farmer groups enables Cargill to strengthen these organisations’ own internal capabilities, supporting them to become more efficient, profitable and self-sustaining. For instance, in 2016–17, farmers in Cote d’Ivoire who implemented the learnings of one-to-one coaching on good farming practices saw their yields increase 49% on average. Cargill firmly believes that investing in sustainability is an investment in the longterm security of the cocoa supply chain. With this in mind, and building on evidence and experience from the past two decades, the company is expanding its commitment to the SDGs and has charted a clear course for the future with five 2030 Goals. The 2030 Goals will allow Cargill to think globally, but act locally, using the framework of the SDGs to meet the direct needs of people in cocoa communities in a transparent, credible and measurable way. cocoa/sustainable-cocoa

ULMA PACKAGING’S NEW ‘TIGHT BAG’ TECHNOLOGY WILL REVOLUTIONISE PACKING ACROSS MANY INDUSTRIES ULMA Packaging Ltd has the solution to overcome many of the issues that have hampered the food industry caused by excess air in the bag. The company has developed a revolutionary VFFS Air Extraction System (Tight Bag) to tackle excess air in the bag which often leads to bigger boxes resulting in fewer packs per pallet. To get over this challenge many manufacturers will make a hole or micro perforations in the bag, but when the product is stored for long periods this can result in the food becoming tainted. Cereal manufacturers have for many years experienced a problem on mixed products where the heavier ingredient falls to the bottom of the box (bag in box) during transport. ULMA’s new ‘tight bag’ jaws make the pack tighter by removing air via a patented jaw design that will not damage product as per conventional options such as bag deflators. A tighter bag means mixed products are held in place during

transportation. To meet the market needs to remove as much air as possible from packs of frozen products, ULMA’s patented new system creates a controlled vacuum before sealing the bag – an innovative method which does

not compromise packaging speeds but does reduce logistics costs.

Tel: 01909 506 504

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{ Industry News }

PERSONALISED LABELS = UNIQUE PRODUCTS Primera’s LX500e Color Label Printer is the perfect solution for start-ups, small businesses and also for printing personalised labels directly in (retail) stores. With its footprint of just 26.4 x 38.9cm and a height of only 18cm high (when the printer is closed) the LX500e meets the requirement for a compact solution suitable to place at any point of sale. LX500e utilises a new print engine that doubles the maximum print speed from 25mm to 51mm per second. Its high-yield, tri-colour ink cartridge simplifies operation and ongoing maintenance, eliminates problems caused by fixed print heads and minimises downtimes during ink replacement. Not to mention that keeping just one SKU in stock (instead of multiple cartridges and replacement print heads)

labels is no longer needed, there’s no lead time and no set-up charges, either. Design changes can be accomplished immediately so there’s no wasted inventory – as only the labels are printed that are needed when they are needed – no matter it be 1, 1000 or 10,000 labels.

Contact details: Primera Technology Europe Mainzer Str. 131 65187 Wiesbaden Germany saves money and simplifies inventory management. Fast print speeds and an optional built-in guillotine-style cutter allow users to quickly and easily print and cut their short-run labels. Ordering massive quantities of pre-printed

Phone: +49 611 92777-0 Fax: +49 611 92777-50 Email:

TOP WEDDING VENUE SWITCHES TO VERO DRINKING WATER TO HELP THE WHOLE WORLD One of the UK’s top wedding and events venues, Elmore Court, in Gloucestershire, has invested in a Vero Water on-site purified drinking water system as part of its vision to become a truly sustainable and eco-friendly business. Owner, Anselm Guise, says: “The Vero Water system makes perfect sense for us because we were buying in a huge quantity of high-end, branded bottled water for guests and the glass and plastic waste this created was insane, irresponsible really. So I wanted to find an alternative that would slash our waste, offer superb quality drinking water and make sound economic sense. “We found Vero Water through WHOLE WORLD Water, a registered UK charity that aims to end the global water crisis by helping the hospitality and tourism industry to filter, bottle and sell their own water. Vero Water is their preferred supplier in the UK. Venues like us contribute 10% of the proceeds and 100% of the monies raised are invested in global clean and safe drinking water projects. “The Vero Water system connects directly to our own mains water, but purifies it so that it tastes superb. There is zero bottle

waste because we can refill bottles again and again. It also makes very good financial sense. By switching from expensive branded pre-bottled water we are saving around £300 per month, and we can sell the water

at the bar at a much lower price compared with traditional bottled water.”

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{ Industry News }

FILLING MACHINE MANUFACTURER RIGGS AUTOPACK WIN AGAIN AT PPMA GROUP INDUSTRY AWARDS Riggs Autopack Ltd is extremely proud to have won the ‘Exceptional Sales Performance’ Award at the prestigious PPMA Group Industry Awards. This is the second year in a row that Riggs Autopack has been awarded this particular accolade. The annual awards are a celebration of the best that British manufacturing has to offer. They recognise and celebrate the most creative, innovative and highest achieving businesses throughout the UK, as well as the people behind them. The awards took place on Tuesday 26 September at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham, and saw more

than 400 industry leaders come together for a four-course gala dinner hosted by comedian Stewart Francis and Sky Sports News presenter Hayley McQueen. Riggs Autopack Ltd is a British manufacturer of high-quality volumetric depositors and filling machines, transfer pumps and automatic conveyor filling lines. They are a UK market leader with an excellent reputation, and supply their equipment to the food production industry. They design and build their high-quality food industry depositors and filling machines at their Lancashire factory, and supply to a wide variety of food producers throughout the UK and overseas. Clients typically range from small start-up companies and artisan producers, through to large-scale food manufacturers such as multi-national groups and international factories. Riggs Autopack’s General Manager, Nigel Matthews, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the Exceptional Sales Performance Award 2017 especially in light of winning this award in 2016. It’s an

extraordinary achievement for our company when taking into consideration the extremely high calibre of entrants and fellow nominees. Our sincere thanks go out to the PPMA Group and the independent judging panel for this fantastic recognition, and to all our staff and valued customers. “This award reflects well on the high level of skill and commitment shown by our dedicated workforce in assisting us to become the business we are today. Our challenge now is to keep up the momentum and continue with our plans for future growth”.

Tel: 01282 440040

ECLIPSE MAGNETICS RECRUITS TOM BIBBY AS TECHNICAL SALES ENGINEER FOR FOREIGN BODY REMOVAL Eclipse Magnetics is delighted to welcome Tom Bibby to its sales team as Technical Sales Engineer for foreign body removal. Tom will be responsible for growing Eclipse Magnetics’ well established range of foreign body removal (FBR) equipment, namely magnetic separation, metal detection and sieving equipment into the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Martyn Cotterill, General Sales Manager for Magnetic Technologies at Eclipse, said: “With previous experience working as a UK Sales Manager in a similar industry, Tom’s knowledge and skills will be very valuable to this role, and to the Eclipse Magnetics sales team as a whole. We are really pleased to have Tom commence employment with us and wish him every


used in almost every processing industry to remove ferrous and para-magnetic contamination from process lines, preventing product contamination and damage to machinery. Leading the way for product quality, performance and service, Eclipse manufactures the full range of options for every stage of production, from simple manually cleaned magnetic separation units to fully automated PLC controlled systems. Eclipse’s high-quality, high-power magnetic separators, metal detectors and vibratory sieves are suitable for most applications, including bulk, grain, dry powders, damp powders, liquids and syrups. success in his new role.” Eclipse’s magnetic separation systems are

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

{ Industry News }

INDUSTRY PLAYING LEADING ROLE IN HELPING SHAPE SKILLS STRATEGY Welsh food and drink businesses have been playing a leading role in the creation of an industry-led skills strategy to be published next spring. Spearheaded by the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board, a recent conference held at the Cardiff Coal Exchange saw industry figures, training providers and government officials exploring ways of ensuring a future pipeline of skills and labour. With Welsh food and drink undergoing a period of growth, having continued access to a workforce with the right skills is essential to ensuring its sustainability. A skilled workforce will also help future proof the industry against the uncertainties of Brexit, with figures showing 28% of those currently working in Welsh food and drink manufacturing being born elsewhere in the EU. The board, in consultation with wider

figures from across the industry, will now be working on drafting a skills strategy that drives future growth and innovation. With misconceptions currently existing around career opportunities, the strategy will not only be essential in plugging any skills gaps, but will also seek to challenge misconceptions and raise awareness of the

varied opportunities that are available within the industry. Chair of the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board, Andy Richardson, said: “We urgently need to understand the future skills requirements of our food and drink producers and to work closely with academia and training providers to deliver those skills and ensure capacity for future growth. “I was delighted to see so many people proactively engaging with us at the conference, and the board is looking forward to working closely with businesses, training providers and government in finding the right solutions to ensure continued growth.” A second skills conference is due to be held in north Wales next spring and the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board would welcome any feedback on

LOMA SYSTEMS HELPS FOOD MANUFACTURERS STAY ON ‘TRACS’ WITH NEW VERSION OF DATA REPORTING SOFTWARE TRACS Version 2 supports Loma’s full range of inspection equipment, offers better functionality with CSV export facility and improved user experience. In response to feedback from food processors, manufacturers and packers, Loma Systems® has launched Version 2 of its popular TRACS (Trending-ReportingAnalysis-Capture-Software) data reporting and analysis software. Designed to further reduce manufacturing costs and improve production efficiencies, the new graphical network-based tool monitors the performance of the company’s full range of inspection equipment and offers better functionality, reporting and user experience. Like its predecessor, Version 2 of TRACS has been developed in conjunction with long-standing partner, AutoCoding Systems. It runs over a customer’s factory network and provides real-time feedback across all lines in a central format for analysis and reporting of key measurements such as giveaway or metal count. It allows factory

managers to see instant machine status, examine different trends between shifts or products, and quickly identify and rectify inefficiencies rather than waiting for historical information to be reported. It enables information relating to

contaminant detection rates, weight and over-fill records to be compiled quickly to demonstrate compliance with current legislation. Featuring a completely redesigned architecture in line with AutoCoding’s latest platforms, Loma’s TRACS boasts a new user interface which is more reflective of modern experiences. Other key features include printable batch reports and CSV data export facility for batch and individual pack weight information.

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{ Industry News }

PLASTIC BOTTLE MAKER BENEFITS FROM HIGHER THROUGHPUT AND LOWER ENERGY USE WITH MOTOR-DRIVE PACKAGE A plastic bottle maker is benefiting from a 60% fall in energy use and a 30% increase in the number of useable bottles it produces following the installation of an ABB motor and drive package. Northern Ireland’s PrimePac uses a hydraulic motor to run an extruder on a 23year-old blow molding machine. Because of the age and constant operation of the machine, its motor was operating inefficiently and suffered poor speed holding properties. Previously it took 10 seconds to create a bottle. In recent years this had extended to 12 seconds. The extruder was also creating long tails of excess plastic that needed to be recycled in a very energy intensive process.

An energy assessment by ABB authorised value provider, Advantage Control, revealed that installing an ABB synchronous reluctance motor (SynRM) and an ACS880

drive would not only reduce electricity use, improve speed holding and the quality and consistency of the finished product, but would also free up electrical capacity that could be used to power a new injection molding machine. Clifford Craig, Engineering Manager at PrimePac, says: “We couldn’t install a new electric machine because we didn’t have the available power. But with the 60% energy saving we achieved on the old blow molder we have been able to install another new all-electric injection molding machine. This is beyond our wildest ambitions. We have managed to massively increase our production, just by installing one SynRM package from ABB”.

LINX 10 IDEAL SOLUTION FOR GROWING FOOD BUSINESS The installation of a Linx 10 printer at specialist food producer Nythe Farm Kitchen is producing codes of increased quality, consistency and permanence that meet the high standards of the retail sector. Nythe Farm manufactures a range of prepared meals, snacks and convenience foods. The Linx 10 is able to print a highquality, permanent two-line code operating up to five hours a day, four days a week. The non-contact printing method means it can easily print onto all the different pack types and shapes, and its compact design and light weight enable the printer to be moved and positioned wherever it is needed. The robust IP55-rated stainless steel outer casing resists water ingress for reliable and consistent operation in food manufacturing environments. The Linx 10 also incorporates automatic printhead cleaning, which ensures quick, clean starts every time, even if the printer is used infrequently. A large colour touch screen with simple, icon-based code creation and selection allows fast and easy set-up, and reduces the risks of errors in the information being printed. “We needed a printer that was simple to


install and use and cost effective to run, and one that could easily fit into our existing production environment while still delivering high-quality printed codes,” explains Nythe Farm’s Technical Director Leslie Dennis.

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

“The Linx 10 has provided the ideal solution.”

{ Industry News }

DAMSON, BLACKBERRY AND GINGER MARK THE START OF WINTER AT DURHAM DISTILLERY Craft distiller Durham Distillery has launched its brand new winter liqueur, Damson Blackberry and Ginger, further boosting its range of bespoke gin, liqueurs and vodka. Produced using their top quality handmade Durham Gin, it has been infused with the winter fruits, damson and blackberry, and ginger for additional heat and warmth. Jess Tomlinson, Head Distiller at Durham Distillery, explains: “Due to the success of our strawberry and pink pepper liqueur earlier this year, we just knew we had to pull out all the stops for our winter edition – no pressure at all! “I think it’s key to get the balance of flavours just so, for example our gin

balances spicy, sweet and savoury. Building on this foundation, we wanted the winter liqueur to hit the right notes. The combination of smooth damson berries, soft and light blackberry, and the warming ginger finish tastes great – it feels right for a winter tipple! We love this liqueur served with a bitter lemonade and some stem ginger or as an addition to prosecco – always a winner”. The small-batch craft distillery, based in Durham, has been distilling since 2013 and is one of the UK’s most traditional distilleries, using only the highest quality ingredients and a 400-litre copper pot called Lily.

4 ACES INTRODUCES TWO NEW DIRECTORS TO ITS TOP TIER 4 Aces has appointed Jackie Venn to the role of Commercial Director and David Blake to the role of Sales Director. Both have been promoted by the packaging specialist from existing positions, as Head of Marketing and head of sales, respectively, in recognition of their shared contribution and involvement in the company’s planned growth. Jackie will take on a more strategic role, going forward, overseeing marketing, procurement and general business activity and supporting Managing Director, Chris Penn, while David is expected to continue to head up the sales team. David will also be taking on a more tactical position, overall, and playing a key part in the research and development of new products across all sectors as the company continues to extend its range of quality goods. Chris Penn, Managing Director of 4 Aces comments: “These appointments mark the company’s recognition of the outstanding

work Jackie and David have done. I’m delighted to welcome them both to these senior positions and look forward to working with them closely to ensure that our plans to double the turnover by 2020 are met”.

For further information on 4 Aces and its products, visit or call 01992 535774


Howard Tenens, one of the UK’s largest privately-owned logistics companies is leading the way in the future of low carbon transportation as one of the first UK hauliers to introduce dedicated gas vehicles into its fleet. Howard Tenens will be taking delivery of two 26-ton rigid dedicated gas vehicles from Scania on 12 October 2017, the first of these vehicle types to operate in the UK. Dedicated gas trucks are powered solely by CNG which have the benefit of lower carbon dioxide emissions compared to diesel vehicles. Gas technology is also one of the few viable options for decarbonising freight, so has an important role to play in helping the UK meet its carbon reduction targets. Howard Tenens is a participant of the Dedicated to Gas Project which is part of the Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK. These vehicles will be the first dedicated gas trucks to be deployed under the trial. The vehicles will be based at Swindon but deliver to a range of customers in urban areas including London. The vehicles will be monitored over the 18 months of the trial which will help answer important questions about operating cost, range, reliability and emissions. Part way through the trial the vehicles will switch to biogas instead of CNG, delivering a 75% reduction in carbon emissions.

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Industry News }

POWERFUL GERM KILL WITH PURELL® PEACE OF MIND PURELL Surface Sanitising Spray and Wipes launched to address a specialised need within the food environment. Hand hygiene specialist GOJO IndustriesEurope Ltd has extended its expertise in surface hygiene with the launch of the PURELL surface sanitising portfolio. The PURELL Surface Sanitising Spray and Wipes are fast acting, highly effective and

specifically designed to meet surface sanitising needs within food contact areas. They sanitise front and back of house with no rinse required on food contact areas, having passed the ISO 4120:2007 food tainting test. The PURELL surface sanitising products are suitable for a variety of applications, such as the sanitising of: kitchen utensils, food storage containers,

smooth non-porous surfaces, refrigerated display cases and other plastic. The PURELL Surface Sanitising Spray and Wipes come ready-to-use with high antimicrobial efficacy. They have been tested specifically on salmonella, campylobacter, listeria and yeast for the food environment. The spray and wipes are bactericidal, fungicidal and virucidal so can be used with complete confidence. GOJO Industries-Europe Ltd Commercial Vice President, Mike Sullivan, said, “35% of foodborne illness cases are attributed to poor sanitation and 16% of these are due to contaminated equipment or environment. “The PURELL brand has been trusted for decades to safely and effectively eliminate germs on the skin. Now, backed by years of scientific expertise, the new PURELL Surface Sanitising Spray and Wipes can play a major part in helping to reduce foodborne illness too.”

For more information, call +44 (0)1908 588444, email or visit

LORIEN RECEIVES TOP SAFETY ACCREDITATION Lorien Engineering Solutions has been awarded accreditation from Alcumus SafeContractor for achieving excellence in health and safety in the workplace. Lorien is an engineering design and project management organisation with operations in Burton on Trent and Wrocaw, Poland. Alcumus SafeContractor is an accreditation scheme that recognises rigorous standards in health and safety management among contractors. It is used by thousands of organisations in the UK including SMEs and FTSE 100 companies. Lorien first gained SafeContractor accreditation more than 10 years ago, meeting the need for a uniform standard across the business. The accreditation enhances the company’s ability to win new contracts and demonstrates its commitment to safety to risk managers.


Bill Treddenick, Director at Lorien, said: “Our continued accreditation to Alcumus SafeContractor and to BS OHSAS 18001 demonstrates our commitment to achieve the highest health and safety standards. “A good proportion of our work involves the construction of processes and facilities. Whilst this sector has made great strides in health, safety and welfare in recent years, there is still more that can be done. It’s our aim to continue to be at the forefront of the ongoing development of standards and achievement.”

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

Gemma Archibald, Director of Alcumus SafeContractor said: “Major organisations simply cannot afford to run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies in place. “More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that Lorien has done. “The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector. SafeContractor plays a vital role in supporting our clients in meeting their compliance needs, whilst working with their contractors as they progress through the accreditation process.”

{ Eat & Drink Festival }

Award-Winning News From Prosecco Start-Up The London Prosecco Company has had a triple celebration this month.


irstly, at the Ideal Home Show at OIympia the company launched its new branded mobile Prosecco bar, which has been designed as both a stylish accompaniment to the already well-known London Prosecco Van or as a stand-alone bar solution for both corporate and private functions. Visitors to the Ideal Home Christmas event were able to choose from sparkling frizzante served directly from the company’s Prosecco Van or from a selection of bottled prosecco and sparkling wines from around the world. Secondly, the company triumphed in the Epsom & Ewell Business Excellence Awards, winning the coveted award for 2017 Best New Business. Presented by Chris Grayling MP, the awards seek to recognise the achievements of entrepreneurial startups less than three years old across the company’s home borough. Speaking about their recent success, London Prosecco Company Director, Teresa Whitfield, said: “November has certainly been the highlight of a busy year for us. Our first full year with the new Prosecco Van, a host of outdoor events and festivals, as

well as weddings and private parties, has firmly established us as a highly reputable company to work providing quality sparkling wines and providing great customer service. “We work with some great Prosecco and sparkling wine suppliers who provide us a range of delicious and ‘not on the high street’ wines for our events; we are also incredibly flexible in how we work with event organisers to ensure their guests and clients are well looked after”. And finally, at the beginning of the month, the company launched its own Prosecco and sparkling wine event, Fizz Fest, with a fantastic evening in Kingston upon Thames, attended by over 450 fans of Prosecco and sparkling wine. Fizz Fest events will take place across London and south-east throughout 2018, with a corporate offer also available.

For further information on the London Prosecco Company please visit

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ BBC Good Food’s Festive FEAST }

Expect More Than Mince Pies & Mulled Wine at This Year’s BBC Good Food’s Festive FEAST Enjoy a mouth-watering Christmas at Hampton Court Palace with the return of BBC Good Food’s Festive FEAST 8 – 10 December 2017.


ith the holiday season upon us, there’s no better way to kick-start Christmas than a visit to BBC Good Food’s Festive FEAST. The event is fittingly held in the atmospheric courtyards of Hampton Court Palace, the former home of notorious food-lover King Henry VIII. Hosted in partnership with independent charity Historic Royal Palaces, BBC Good Food’s Festive FEAST promises to be the perfect start to the Yuletide celebrations. For those looking to pick up some top culinary tips, the FEAST Kitchen will be available for visitors to learn from chefs and experts whilst watching them take part in live cookery demonstrations. All sessions are included in admission, with the line-up boasting Anjula Devi, author of Spice For Life, Marcus Bean, regular chef on ITV’s This Morning, and Limahl Asmall, founder of


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

the Tiny Budget Cooking website, plus BBC Good Food’s very own cookery team, and many more still to be announced. Once the FEAST Kitchen has set tummies rumbling, it’s time to grab some food at one of the many food stalls and pop-up bars within the historic courtyards. From artisan sausage rolls to steaming hot churros, there’s something to suit all taste buds. A trip to Festive FEAST wouldn’t be complete without picking up a souvenir or two to take home, and with a whole host of hand-picked artisan producers and companies, it’s the perfect place to pick up a seasonal treat. For evening shoppers, the Twilight Shopping ticket is available on Friday and Saturday evenings from 4 – 7pm. The perfect chance to grab some last minute gifts, the ticket costs £5 and excludes palace entry. Brand

{ BBC Good Food’s Festive FEAST }

new for 2017 is the VIP experience, where visitors can sip on unlimited fizz in the VIP Courtyard, take part in exclusive workshops, get reserved front row seats in the FEAST Kitchen theatre, complimentary festive treats, plus receive a goody bag and cookery book. With free entry to Hampton Court Palace’s spectacular State Apartments included with standard tickets, it’s the perfect occasion to explore the palace’s magnificent surroundings, including the world’s oldest

puzzle maze, the largest grapevine on the planet and over 65 acres of beautiful formal gardens. Foodies can also head inside the palace to learn what it took to feed up to 600 people twice a day with a visit to the famous Tudor kitchens, before stopping by the only surviving royal chocolate kitchen in the country.

PREMIUM BATCHED TAILS COCKTAILS FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON This Christmas, you can enjoy superb craft cocktails at home, without having to source and mix an array of ingredients. Tails Cocktails – the pioneering and award winning premixed cocktail brand - has created a range of batched cocktails that combine sophisticated ingredients with superior liqueurs and premium spirits. The result is a selection of classic and contemporary cocktails prepared and premixed at bar strength, offering convenience, quality and taste in equal measures. Each serve has been designed and crafted by the Tails team of inventors, craftsmen and showmen, making the range some of the most exciting, yet accessible ready to serve curated drinks available! Tails Cocktails offer the perfect solution for easy Christmas drinks when entertaining at home, or on the move socialising at festive parties and events. With a range of different serves available there’s a cocktail for every palate. Ideal for

kick starting the festive spirit at any Christmas party, Tails Cocktails recommends…. • Espresso Martini: 15% ABV, 500ml bottle (3 – 4 serves) £10 RSP. Triple Distilled Vodka, Coffee Liqueur and Arabica Coffee. A truly sophisticated cocktail best enjoyed shaken with ice and served in a martini glass with coffee bean garnish. • Berry Mojito: 10% ABV, 500ml bottle (3 -

4 serves) £8 RSP, 200ml (single serve) bottle, £4 RSP. A festive fruity version of a classic serve, our Berry Mojito is a delicious blend of white rum, Crème de Cassis, mint, lime juice and soda. Serve in a highball glass over ice with a twist of lime and sprig of fresh mint. Tails Cocktails is inviting you to #ShakeATail this winter: share your video via Instagram of you shaking and serving your own Tails Cocktail at home for a chance to win some great prizes. Following a year of expansion and growth into major retailers, Tails Cocktails is also launching its own sales site at Visit to discover the full range

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Cheese Focus }

Meet the Big Cheeses As the World Cheese Awards prepare to celebrate their 30th anniversary, the British public’s love affair with cheese continues.


ccording to the British Cheese Board (, 98% of British households purchase cheese, selecting from the 700-plus named cheeses produced in the UK, not to mention imports from around the globe. Cheddar remains the UK’s favourite cheese, with mozzarella in second place, most of which is UK-made. It’s no wonder that cheese festivals are becoming a more and more popular way to promote regional brands. This September, the brand new 10-day Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival ( was launched in Harrogate, kicking off with two days of demonstrations and tastings at Wensleydale Creamery, the home of Wallace and Gromit’s favourite cheese.

World Cheese Awards With entrants from more than 30 countries, 250 cheese experts from across the globe and a 30th anniversary to celebrate, the 2017 World Cheese Awards ( are being touted as the biggest cheese-only competition the UK has ever seen. There’s no doubt that the awards are a major event on the food and drink calendar, and this year they take place on 17 November, as part of Taste of London Festive Edition (16–19 November) at Tobacco Dock in Docklands. The Guild of Fine Food is expecting around 3,000 cheeses to be featured in the competition, with Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards up for grabs, judged by expert cheesemakers, buyers, retailers and writers. The World Champion Cheese will be selected from the best.


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

“This global celebration of cheese seems to gather momentum every year, so we can’t wait to bring the world’s finest cheese back to home soil once again and give Taste of London Festive Edition’s 30,000 attendees a glimpse behind the rind,” says John Farrand, Managing Director of the Guild of Fine Food. “Beyond the serious business of identifying the winning wedges, we’ve got a few surprises up our sleeve to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the World Cheese Awards, so we’re hoping that cheesemakers, judges, graders and consumers alike will join us in marking our three decades at the heart of the cheese community.”

Innovation and new recipes While many cheeses are made to long-established recipes, there’s always room for innovation. Devon-based cheesemaker Quicke’s (, which produces handmade, slowmatured cheese truckles using milk from specially bred cows, has recently partnered with a company from its neighbouring county: Cornish Sea Salt. The collaboration began with several years of testing and maturation before the announcement that the multi-award-winning cheesemaker will be using Cornish Sea Salt in its clothbound Cheddar to create a “bright and unique flavour profile”. “Cornish Sea Salt has a unique mineral-rich flavour that initially hits the palate and then withdraws to enhance other ingredients, which gives us an extra complexity of flavour,” explains Mary Quicke MBE. “Just like in cooking, Cornish Sea Salt adds a lovely brightness and pleasing complexity in the salt flavour

{ Cheese Focus }

and you really notice an extra zing at the end. Harvested out in the ocean, it’s concentrated nature without the impurities you find in pan-dried sea salt.”

Bespoke Cheddar To cater for the general public’s growing preference for stronger-tasting Cheddars, Tesco involved customers, as well as leading West Country cheesemaker Parkham Farms, in the design of new bespoke mature and extra mature Cheddars. The major multiple researched flavour profiles with the north Devon cheese producer and carried out taste trials with more than 150 customers to develop Tesco’s Mature and Extra Mature Cheddar, the latter winning Gold at the British Cheese Awards and Silver at the International Cheese Awards this year. “The British palate is changing and in the last five years we’ve seen a dramatic shift from mild to stronger tasting Cheddar as the UK’s favourite cheese,” says Kay Legge, who oversaw the project. “For over 50 years spicier foods have become more common in our diets, and as our taste buds have acclimatised to the flavours, we see that customers now have a hankering for a deeper and more complex taste profile for their cheese. Involving some of our customers in the cheesemaking process has been really helpful. They obviously have great taste – as both varieties have won gold medals at two major cheese events and demand has continued to soar.”

Singing the praises of Welsh cheese While Blur bass player Alex James famously makes award-winning cheeses at his farm in Oxfordshire, another musician is now championing cheese from Wales. Tom Pinder, who plays the sousaphone in the Welsh Supporters’ band The Barry Horns and the trombone for artists such as singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini, has set up The Welsh Cheese Company ( to sell the best Welsh products online. “Over recent years I’ve been getting more and more interested in the sourcing and the quality of the food I eat, and as a non meat-eater I’ve been particularly interested in the dairy side of my diet,” he explains. “I’ve been eating a wide range of amazing Welsh cheeses from the delis in Cardiff, and local farmers’ markets, but I was frustrated that I couldn’t get all of the Welsh cheeses I’d come to love from one supplier, so I thought I’d do something about that and start a business that would bring together cheese from my 11 or 12 favourite Welsh cheese producers in one place.” By working directly with producers and buying direct from farms, he hopes to bring the best cheeses to customers in the best possible condition. While cheese is considered an everyday food stuff, easily and widely available in a range of formats, the passion and commitment of artisan producers and those who champion quality in cheesemaking has no doubt contributed to our national love of it.

LYE CROSS FARM: ALVIS FAMILY FARMERS AND CHEESEMAKERS The Alvis family are third generation farmers and cheesemakers, and they have been farming their land at Lye Cross Farm in Somerset for over 100 years. In 1952 they started producing cheese and 40 years later, in 1992, they began making organic Cheddar. Produced using milk from their own herd and supplemented by milk from other local herds, Lye Cross Farm Cheddar is made using the traditional technique of ‘Cheddaring’. In this process the curds are turned and stacked by hand. This allows the curds to knit together, thus forming the unique texture of Cheddar cheese. Once the cheese has been made it is stored in the warehouse at 10°C. The cheese will then stay in the warehouse for anywhere between 3–18 months. It is tasted as many as three times throughout this period by our cheese experts, and is only

selected for use when at its very best. The Alvis family are very proud of their business – the fully integrated farming, cheesemaking and packing process gives them control of the whole supply chain. This, with the traditional hand-making process and being only seven miles from the village of Cheddar, means that Lye Cross Farm Cheddar cheese carries the EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) stamp of a truly authentic product.

2017 marks the 25-year anniversary of organic Cheddar production at Lye Cross Farm, and has gone from strength to strength since the Alvis family first started producing it in 1992. Hand-made using the same traditional techniques as the rest of the cheese produced at Lye Cross Farm, it now accounts for 30% of all cheese made annually. Whilst tradition is highly valued by the Alvis family, both at home and as a fundamental part of the business, modern technological advancements are continually explored to improve not only the efficiency of the business, but also to help achieve the company’s green dream of becoming carbon neutral.

Tel: 01934 864600

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Wine Festival Winchester }

Wine to Taste: Wine Festival Winchester The chill in the air, the twinkling lights, the buzzy Christmas market – Winchester is the perfect place to get into the festive spirit.


nd one very special event captures this sense of fun and festivity perfectly: Wine Festival Winchester. This acclaimed annual event, now a firm fixture in the annual calendar, takes place on the last weekend of November (this year, Friday 24 and Saturday 25). Winchester’s stunning Guildhall provides the perfect venue to savour wines from all around the world, from top-quality English sparkling wine to vintage port. With over 300 bottles to choose from, there’s no shortage of options – and passionate, knowledgeable exhibitors bring the wines to life for the hundreds of eager visitors who flock into the halls and make this event a regular sell-out. The festival is co-hosted by married Masters of Wine and TV presenters, Susie Barrie and Peter Richards.


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

Susie and Peter are familiar faces as wine presenters on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, a job they’ve relished for over a decade. “We can’t wait for the festival to come around,” comments Susie. “It’s always great fun, with loads of new and exciting things to try – and lots of people to meet!” One of the keys to the festival’s success has been its Follow Your Taste scheme to help visitors navigate the ocean of wine. This colour-coded system breaks wine down into seven basic taste categories, each with its own cheeky strapline, from ‘Like it Fresh & Racy?’ to ‘I’m a Big Smoothie’ and ‘Sweet Tooth & Sticky Fingers’. Each bottle at the festival has a neck tag advertising its style, while guests are encouraged to wear coloured stickers to communicate their favourite styles to exhibitors. It’s

{ Wine Festival Winchester }

a route map, time saver and ice breaker all in one. So popular has Follow Your Taste proved with visitors that the festival has launched its own dedicated web app along the same theme. It’s a game that follows a treasure hunt model, which invites users to track down and rate different bottles around the festival based on their personal taste preferences. Prizes can be won at all stages of the game and users are subsequently emailed all their ratings in a user-friendly format, with live links to buy should they wish.

Since the very first event in 2014, the festival has been a proud supporter of local charities, having raised over £6,500 for good causes to date. This year the festival’s charity partner is child bereavement charity Simon Says.

Tickets cost £30, masterclasses £10 and are available (as long as they last) from

IMPORTERS OF FINE GREEK WINE AND SPIRITS With the largest portfolio of Greek wines to be found in the UK, we represent 30 small and medium-scale quality producers with approximately 80 different wines by over 35 indigenous grape varieties of Greece and 30 spirits of all styles. Amongst our labels there is an abundance of certified organic and biodynamic ones coming from the important Greek PDO regions: • Nemea • Naoussa • Santorini • Mantinia • Goumenissa • Zitsa • Lemnos • Cephalonia together with the wider Peloponnese,

Macedonia, Epirus, the Aegean and Ionian Islands. Our vision is to showcase the Greek vineyard in all dimensions and promote the values of eating and drinking well, in a

tradition inspired, yet continuously renewable way. This vision is aligned with the modern quest to explore local cuisines and winemaking methods, expand the knowledge and broaden our tasting experiences. Greek wine has been made continuously in the last 6000 years and its production has never ceased, not even under the most adverse historical circumstances. It has been seen by Greeks as a divine product since ancient times and its use stretches through to the most important life occasions. It is elegant, diverse and characterful. Element of the soul!

You are now invited to explore & enjoy it!

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ The Spirit Show }

Taking You On a World Tour of the Finest (and some very unusual!) Spirits This December 1 and 2 December – Business Design Centre, London


his year’s Spirit Show won’t just feature the usual line-up of whisky, gin, vodka and rum. Although it will have those in abundance. The team behind the show have been working hard to ensure visitors are able to try many more unusual spirits. Here are some of the more unusual spirits in the year’s line-up. Indie Brands will be representing Casa D’Aristi and their authentic, exotic and natural rum-based liqueurs from Mexico. Huana is the only guanábana fruit rum liqueur in the world. Sip or Mix will be representing Jade Perique Tobacco Liqueur (made using organically grown tobacco) as well as Jade Liqueurs’ fine absinthes. The show will also see a “World First”, from Old Man Rum. This unique rum is the culmination of 40 years


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

of experience in the spirits industry The show is the perfect place for lesser known spirits and brands to gain exposure to an audience who are in buying mode in the run-up to Christmas. With the addition of the new trade-only session from 1–5pm on Friday 1 December, exhibitors will also ensure their product is seen by key buyers from the drinks and hospitality industries. Over 500 people have already registered for this session. The show isn’t just about trying and buying spirits either. There is also plenty going on to inform and entertain the visitors.

WSET Tasting Stage The expert tasting tutors from Wine Spirit Education Trust will be running a series of masterclasses for trade visitors, including:

{ The Spirit Show }

• WSET Spirits Qualifications: Commercial Benefits • An Idiots Guide to Building a Bar Empire – presented by JJ Goodman, founder of London Cocktail Club • Selection of Flavour Through Distillation • Creating a Culture of Education in Combatting Staff Turnover

Fentimans Cocktail Experience Master mixers Fentimans will be hosting a series of hands-on demos, teaching visitors a repertoire of cocktail skills that they can take away and show off at home.

tastings. His enthusiasm for this cane sugar spirit will transport you away from wintery London to the farflung shores of the Caribbean and beyond.

Ice Carving with PSD Ice Art The marvellous ice sculptors from PSD Ice Art will be wowing visitors with their skills and creating some ‘cool’ creations. From 1pm-4pm on Friday 1 December trade visitors will be able to take part in a ‘How to carve Ice Diamonds’ session.

Rumming and Relaxing with The Floating Rum Shack Rum expert extraordinaire Peter Holland from The Floating Rum Shack will be hosting a series of rum

WE ARE DRINKS CAREERS… Liquid Careers is the leading drinks industry’s career platform sharing the latest news, commentary, jobs and resources. We focus purely on the drinks market across all disciplines on a local and global level. We advertise jobs across spirits, wine, champagne, beer, cider, soft drinks, hot drinks and, of course, the extensive on-trade e.g. bartenders, brand ambassadors and mixologists to name but a few. More than simply just another job board, we provide bespoke industry content, insight, news and videos. We run a number of campaigns designed to spread knowledge and expertise including our popular ‘Featured Employer’ articles on our drinks blog, Liquid Lounge ( We run a bimonthly newsletter to over 23k industry

subscribers, which includes industry news, guest blog articles and jobs. We are passionate about the industry and want to provide a platform that helps inform and educate those interested in moving into the industry or within it. Our aim is simple: to provide a one-stop platform where drinks industry professionals can access both market knowledge and careers, and employers can reach the best talent and market their employer brand.

Liquid Careers is backed by a team with an extensive drinks industry network and over 15 years of drinks recruitment knowledge. We are prolific network builders offering great insight and value through specialist career consultancy, social network connectivity, diverse content and commentary. Liquid Careers was launched earlier this year and is growing at a significant pace. We have a number of projects underway and we are always on the lookout for blog writers, media partners, featured employers etc. If you would like to know more or get involved with our projects please get in touch at

Learn more at

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Chef Q&A }

Allister Bishop South Sands Hotel, Salcombe, Devon


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

{ Chef Q&A }

When did you first decide to become a chef?

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I always loved cooking from an early age, so it seemed like a natural progression to train professionally soon after school.

Two things really. Firstly, creating new dishes from raw ingredients and secondly, mentoring my chefs to grow and develop on to becoming even better chefs.

What training route did you follow? I went to Plymouth Catering College and completed my City and Guilds qualification 706-1/706-2 over two years, then finished it off with a year as a stagiaire in Switzerland.

Do you have a signature dish? I wouldn’t say I have a particular signature dish but more of a style which leads the creation of most of my dishes. I follow the seasons and forage as much as possible from the coast and countryside around Salcombe and the South Hams. We use what we can get so my dishes are led by the availability and sustainability of ingredients.

Which ingredient(s) do you particularly enjoy working with? Working in Devon I am like a kid in a sweet shop. We get lamb bred minutes from our hotel, lobsters from around the South Downs headland and beef from Dartmoor. Our foraging – from seaweed to mushrooms – is all local to the area as well.

What makes your restaurant stand out? It’s a relaxed dining experience with just the most amazing view that transforms the atmosphere. Because of the tide, the weather and the seasons the sea looks different every day – it’s mesmerising. With local outstanding products all sourced within miles or even minutes of the hotel our guests really get the sense of the seasons, and sustainable eating, whilst dining.

What food do you cook at home? At home I love to keep it simple with one pot cooking…there’s too much washing up otherwise!

What has been your biggest challenge? Recruitment hands down. It’s tricky to find chefs with the combination of the right aptitude, those that aren’t looking for that X factor moment and are willing to put the hard work in. I’m lucky to have a great team with me in the kitchen at South Sands hotel at the moment.

Which of your work achievements are you most proud of? Making it to be an Executive Chef of a top London 5 star property from 2006–2011. It was also a fantastic opportunity to be Executive Sous Chef at Harrods from 2011–2015.

Which person/company operating in the food and drink sector do you most admire and why? Simon Richardson from Cornish Foraged Harvest. He is so passionate about foraging from the wonderful countryside and coastlines here in the south-west. You’ll find him out in all weathers looking and searching out amazing products for us to use and sample.

What are your most important ethical considerations (for example, issues such as the environment, organic food, Fairtrade etc)? Sustainable fishing and excellent animal husbandry.

What would you like to be doing in five years’ time? Still doing the same as I am doing now, working with like-minded people producing amazing food...

Describe your perfect meal I believe the perfect meal is not just about the food, it’s the complete package including great friends, drinks – and the food!

“I always loved cooking from an early age, so it seemed like a natural progression to train professionally soon after school.”

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Chef Q&A }

Paul Brooke-Taylor Highclere Castle


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

{ Chef Q&A }

When did you first decide to become a chef? I was 12 years old and used to go to a butcher with my mother. I was curious about the place and I then gained some work experience. This was the start of my interest for food. I then went on to do an apprenticeship at the Randolph Hotel in Oxford aged 15.

What training route did you follow? Apprenticeship at the Randolph Hotel, Oxford.

Do you have a signature dish? I have two: Venison Braisée a la forestière and Beetroot Cured Salmon.

Which ingredient(s) do you particularly enjoy working with? Particularly game.

What food do you cook at home? I have two young children at home so cook a varied repertoire, the children love their vegetables which is great as we’ve an abundance of produce growing at home. I also cook a lot of toad in the hole as it is their favourite dish.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? The recognition I receive from Lord and Lady Carnarvon.

What has been your biggest challenge? Having a stroke in 2010 at age 35 which impaired my vision.

Which of your work achievements are you most proud of? I was incredibly proud to be offered the position as Head Chef at Highclere Castle. I remember after the interview being so enthusiastic about it and to this day my enthusiasm has not waned and each and every day I’m inspired.

Which person/company operating in the food and drink sector do you most admire and why? My first Executive Chef, Mike Caroll, was a fantastic mentor to me. Richard Walton was my first ever Sous Chef and he shaped me, educated and organised me.

What are your most important ethical considerations (for example, issues such as the environment, organic food, Fairtrade etc)? Environment is hugely important, if we don’t look after the planet we won’t have a planet to live on. Sourcing locally and seasonally is a must too.

What would you like to be doing in five years’ time? Highclere has been my longest continuous employment as a chef and I don’t see myself leaving in the next 5 – 10 years as it is a wonderful place to be and it’s a great work/life balance.

Describe your perfect meal? Scallops to start, followed by a roasted leg of lamb and dauphinois with red cabbage, enjoyed with a Merlot from Napa Valley region. This would be followed by sticky toffee pudding.

“Highclere has been my longest continuous employment as a chef and I don’t see myself leaving in the next 5 – 10 years as it is a wonderful place to be and it’s a great work/life balance.”

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News



November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

{ Rhug Estate }

Organic From Field to Plate Renowned supplier of organic meat, poultry and game to top restaurants across the globe, Rhug Estate also welcomes the public to its thriving farm shop and Bison Grill.


he transformation of Rhug began with Lord Newborough’s commitment to sustainable organic farming, after he inherited the estate in north Wales in 1998. “At the time, it was being run on a lowinput, low-output basis; small amounts of fertiliser and spraying a lot,” he explains. “I sat down with the farm manager and we introduced a mix-grazing system. Immediately on conversion, everything became organic.” A champion of organic food for some years, he arranged a ‘beauty parade’ of four supermarkets, selecting Waitrose as frontrunners, a partnership that continues today. “There was very little organic meat available at that stage and they had the vision of customers requiring more organic food.” In 2002, the estate purchased two trailers to sell fresh meat and freshly cooked organic burgers direct to customers at shows. A trial run by the farm gate proved so successful that the

trailers stayed put. Attracting up to 3,000 customers on busy summer weekends, a farm shop with eating-in area followed, first in a temporary building and, in 2011, in a purpose-built space, with a takeaway counter and the Bison Grill. The wholesale side of the business began in 2004, with an exploratory trip to six of the top restaurants in London, five of which became customers. This prompted urgent upgrading of the processing and logistical side of the business, and a stateof-the-art cutting plant opened on the farm in 2005, with dedicated butchers to service wholesale and retail customers. In 2007, Rhug was approached to supply a shop in Singapore and today the business exports widely, from Hong Kong and Macau to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Rhug Estate meat continues to be much in demand at top London restaurants and hotels, with deliveries to the capital three times a week. With the Rhug name appearing on important menus around the world, the estate even had a surprise

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Rhug Estate }

“It’s a beautiful part of the world,” Lord Newborough says, “and we’re very privileged to be able to walk out of the door every morning and see the surroundings; to have this as our office every day.” visit from a Michelin inspector in 2013. Today, Rhug is one of the few remaining field-toplate operations, where animals are bred on the farm, fed on feed grown on the farm, and their meat packed and dispatched from the farm’s cutting plant. The business now spreads over around 8,000 acres, producing meat and poultry, including turkey for Christmas and Thanksgiving, plus organic geese, game birds and venison. One of the most popular meats produced is bison, sold only at the farm shop and aptly named Bison Grill on the estate. “I bought some bison in 2007 and put them in the field by the main road as a point of interest for everyone driving past,” explains Lord Newborough. “It was very successful and Rhug has become well known for its bison herd, as it’s fairly unusual in the UK.” Having started with nine people in 1998, the estate now employs 115 staff across the business, with steady growth leading to an annual turnover of around £11m. It has also made a significant investment into wind, hydro, geothermal and solar energy, with plans to add battery storage to the solar sites in the near future. Lord Newborough continues to visit London every two weeks to see customers and travels abroad twice a year. “We want to maintain the customers that we have,


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

look after them well, and focus on service and quality,” he says. “We’re very protective of our brand, it’s well recognised and if it was everywhere it wouldn’t have the prestige it has now. We’re privileged to have the Welsh brand attached to our lambs as it’s a premium brand. Rhug organic Welsh lamb looks good on any menu.” While production has increased following the decision to go organic and the streamlining of the business, Lord Newborough is keen to continue making improvements moving forward. One thing that will never change, however, is his appreciation of Rhug Estate’s fantastic setting, which attracts visitors from far and wide.

Nationwide delivery of organic wines, beers, ciders, spirits and juices. To request a wine and drinks list call 0118 932 6566 or email


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

{ Willowbrook Foods }

Quality First The multi-award-winning company has continued to garner accolades over the past year, endorsing both the high quality of the product range and the company’s ambitions for growth and prosperity. The most recent was Fresh Produce Manufacturing Company of the Year at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards, known as the FMEA Oscars. “We were very proud to win this award, as we are a relatively small company up against some big players in the industry,” says the company’s founder and Managing Director, John McCann, MBE. Willowbrook Food is the largest processor of bagged lettuce and prepared vegetables in Ireland. They also create high-quality mashed potato, roast vegetables, carrots and swede products for the convenience and manufacturing market. The fresh food producer supplies a wide range of time-saving products, including ingredients for upmarket ready meals, retail and food service customers. Willowbrook Foods, Willowbrook Fine Foods and Willowbrook Innovation Centre, business exports across Ireland and the UK from its base in Killinchy, on the beautiful shores of Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland.

Taking flight Another accolade in May of this year was for Best New Service and Product of the Year, awarded for securing a major new contract with Alpha Catering. “Alpha Catering supplies more than 130 international airlines and their products are bespoke, designed to suit their own menus on the plane,” explains John

McCann, MBE. “We had the chance to tender for the account and were successful as we offer a wide range of products, from pastas and salads to mayo and coleslaw, which fitted their needs.” Working closely with Alpha Catering’s own chefs, the NPD team at Willowbrook Foods developed 68 authentic deli salads for airline meals. Securing an account with this prestigious airline caterer is a major step forward as the company continues to build up its client base in the food service sector, creating high-quality convenience dishes at its Innovation centre, established in 2011.

A visit to the Palace The driving force behind the company, John McCann, MBE, founded Willowbrook Foods back in 1968 on the family farm in Killinchy, Northern Ireland. This year, his outstanding contribution to the agri-food industry was recognised in the New Year’s Honours, when he became a Member of the British Empire (MBE). “It came out of the blue when I received a letter from the Prime Minister,” he says. “I was invited to Buckingham Palace and the MBE was presented by Prince Charles.” Proud to be recognised for doing something that he is passionate about, John McCann, MBE was able to share the day with his wife, son and daughter.

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Willowbrook Foods }

Salad shortage Having worked in the industry for more than five decades, John McCann, MBE was proactively involved in trying to resolve the salad shortage that hit the sector earlier this year. “Spain is crucial to the winter lettuce supply, but from December 2016 to January 2017 the country experienced a deluge of rain that washed out this season’s winter crop,” he explains. “People think that lettuce can be grown in this country in glasshouses, but it’s too expensive. Farmers in Spain can grow it outside in winter and on a large scale. “At Willowbrook, we supply a large amount of bagged lettuce and we didn’t want to let our customers down. We are very reliant on this supply, so I went out to Spain three times to negotiate with the growers and look for solutions.” On one of these trips, he was interviewed by BBC1’s Countryfile for a programme broadcast in February 2017. “Countryfile wanted to do a programme about the Spanish lettuce shortage, they read about me being there and they phoned me up. They did the programme there, in the Spanish fields; they also talked to the Spanish farmers and the supermarket buyers.”

Brexit and the way forward Brexit has thrown up a further challenge for companies like Willowbrook Foods operating in the food and drink sector. “Anyone working in produce doesn’t like Brexit,” says John McCann. “For our customers in Ireland it’s even more difficult because of the border situation. We are in Northern Ireland but we have a lot of customers in southern Ireland who are wondering if there will be border checks. Nobody knows the answer.” Another issue relating to Brexit is recruiting staff, which can be difficult in the local area. “We’re not far from full employment here, there’s a shortage of people, especially with the skills we need, our solution to this problem is to bring in more machinery to automate some of the plant, but when you work with


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

fresh vegetables and salads you need people to do the quality checks. Automation is the way forward in many industries, but if you have a pallet of lettuces and every one is different and you have to chop the leaves off, a robot can’t do that.”

New factory and new products In November 2017, the company opened a new 35,000 sq ft factory for processing quality mashed potatoes, carrots and swede, in Newtownards, around 10 miles from its existing site. “It’s very exciting getting all the machinery operational with the aim of going into full production in January. The layout is better organised, which has made us more efficient and we’ve just passed our BRC double A grade.”Recent new products include spiralised vegetables – for example, carrots, courgettes, beetroot and butternut squash – created by a new machine and destined for food service, in particular for schools and hospitals. “It’s good for kids as it encourages them to eat vegetables; they taste nice and look more appetising as you can put different types and colours together.” Another new product range for Willowbrook Foods is partly cooked baby potatoes, marinated in different flavours such as chilli or garlic, or with crumb on the outside. Ideal for food service, they can be finished off in the microwave.

Looking ahead Seeing double digit growth last year, Willowbrook Foods continues to overcome the current market challenges. With a new freezing facility planned for the new factory, the company will soon be able to add quality frozen products to its range. By harnessing innovation, producing high-quality products and winning new customers and increasing its share of the market, Willowbrook Foods will no doubt continue to go from strength to strength.

Tel: 02897 541603

Proud Packaging Solution Partners with Willowbrook Foods. Congratulations to John

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Chicken Cottage }

The Global Brand That Keeps Growing New branches, new branding and a new partnership with UberEATS; Chicken Cottage is expanding across the UK – and the globe.


ith 75 restaurants in the UK and 19 international outlets, from mainland Europe to Pakistan and Iraq, Chicken Cottage is on course to become a major global brand. The 100% halal fast food chain has this year opened three new stores – in Maida Vale, Bournemouth and Clapham Junction – with launches in Chatham and Swindon before Christmas and a further 10 new units planned for 2018. While around 50 of its UK branches are currently within the M25, the company is actively seeking out more regional franchises. “We have a lot of areas in the UK that are still underpenetrated by Chicken Cottage, and our strategy

is for regional master franchises to develop particular areas of the country,” explains Chief Executive Officer, Gerry Rankin. Plans to develop the brand outside the UK are also progressing, after the business signed a deal to open 105 stores in the Middle East over the next five years. The first branch in Germany will open by the end of this year and discussions are taking place with Spain and India. The company has come a long way since 1994, when its founders, Mohammed Khalid and Tahir Jamil, opened their first store in Wembley. The phenomenal growth of the business attracted attention from outside investors and, in 2014, TI Global Food Holdings Inc purchased a majority share, supported by

“We have a lot of areas in the UK that are still underpenetrated by Chicken Cottage, and our strategy is for regional master franchises to develop particular areas of the country”.


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

{ Chicken Cottage }

the Terengganu State Government in Malaysia. A major rebrand is now underway, with an updated website, refreshed logo and upgrades to the interior design of new and existing restaurants. “We want to show that the brand is moving with the times by giving the restaurants a fresher feel to make them more appealing for discerning high street customers,” says Gerry Rankin. “The 10 stores that have rebranded in the UK so far have anecdotally seen significant sales lifts, so there’s a clear win for the customer and the franchisee.” A further 20-plus stores will be refurbished in 2018, with a view to completing the upgrades by early 2020. “Our design approach allows the brand to evolve and we can make minor adjustments to the interior design to keep the brand fresh and up to date. It starts from the ground up: making sure the franchises incorporate all the brand standards in our design manual, from floor tiles and furniture to wall graphics and ceiling features, as well as the external signage and logos.” A new partnership with UberEATS is being tested in around 30 London stores and there are plans to rationalise the menu, with new products and flavour

profiles to be introduced in the 2018 marketing calendar. Offering a fusion of flavours, the cuisine has a core range of chicken burgers, along with wraps, kebabs, vegetarian meals and salads, with bespoke sauces and dressings, side orders and dessert options. “Social media is an important part of our marketing portfolio and we have a portal on our website where franchisees can order marketing materials that allow them to carry out local marketing based on the national campaigns we run.” As for the future: “Staffing remains a challenge, especially in London with what Brexit might mean for European immigrants, but employees benefit from competitive pay and training. We also expect that the new branding and refurbished restaurants will appeal to potential franchisees.” As Gerry Rankin works towards a long-term plan for 300 outlets in the UK, new franchisees will no doubt be welcomed on board.’’

Chicken Cottage Tel: 0870 0667175

Bowman Ingredients specialises in the production of coating systems for customers in the global food processing industry.

UK Headquarters Arlesey Road, Ickleford, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG5 3UN Tel: 01462 422722 Email:

Through our strong customer focus and dedication to product innovation we have grown to become one of the UK’s leading food coatings companies and a major player worldwide, supporting many of the world’s leading brands through our international network of manufacturing sites and commitment to new product development. We produce a full range of dry cereal based coating systems for frozen and chilled food applications. Our coatings include: • Breadcrumbs • Batter Mixes • Dry Mix Marinades • Breaders

Applications suitable for meat, poultry, fish, seafood, potato & vegetable products.

We are proud to supply Chicken Cottage and wish them continued success for the future. November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Dimaco }

Labelling & Weighing Is Easier With Dimaco’s Veri-CHECK Following on from the successful launch of the new range of Dimaco Veri-CHECK label verification systems, including both offline and online systems, Dimaco are very pleased to announce the new combination label verification and check weigher unit. Launched at the 2017 PPMA show, Veri-WEIGH has caused much interest in the industry. The machine is a result of a close partnership between Dimaco and Starflex Packaging Europe and combines the best of both companies’ technology into a single unit. This was recognised by the PPMA, and was awarded 2017 Partnership of the Year. With an ever-increasing focus on food waste reduction within the food manufacturing sector, both label verification and check weighing have never been more important. The ability to detect and rectify problems as close to the packaging operation as possible minimises its carbon footprint as well as significantly reducing costs normally associated with product rework. The Dimaco label verification system not only checks what has been printed, such as date and weight


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

information, but by being part of the complete production system, it also verifies that the information is actually correct. Additionally, it is easily possible to verify many more parameters such as that the correct version of the artwork has been used and whether the correct promotional label has been added. Once checked, all information is stored on the Veri-CENTRAL database so that months or even years later it is a simple task to be able to prove exactly what labels were attached and that the correct data was printed and was legible. With the ever-increasing move to end-of-line automation, having a fast and accurate check of product labelling is critical to ensure that costly, and possible brand damaging, errors do not occur. Now, the addition of a check weigher to the system has the added advantages of combining multiple checks into a

{ Dimaco }

For retail applications, this ‘skin tight’ presentation is maintained throughout the life of the product with no post-shrink relaxation and a decrease in drip in the ears of the pack. small footprint and giving traceability to check weighing operations. Put simply, the Dimaco VeriWEIGH system lets you verify that you have the correct labelling and weight and be able to prove it.

For more information on Veri-WEIGH, or any of the Dimaco verification products please contact Dimaco at

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Tree of Life }

Making Health Easy With product depth and breadth attracting a growing number of suppliers and customers, Tree of Life is significantly benefiting from following a successful strategy of making healthy food more widely available. Nothing at Tree of Life happens by accident. Established in 2001 from regional wholesaler Nature’s Store, the company has grown to become the largest wholesale distributor in the nutrition and healthy lifestyle channel, since new owners took over in 2011. “Very simply, we’re here to Make Health Easy,” explains Chief Executive Officer, John Weaver. “For our suppliers, we enable them to access any retailer and indeed anybody interested in buying their product. For our customers, we want to be a one-stop health shop, not only for product but also for advice and support. For our staff, we offer them a balanced work-life equation, by offering regular free healthy lunches, providing support and information, putting our health products in our vending machines, and operating a cycle to work scheme. It even expands out into the community, where we support local sports teams.”

John Weaver, one of three directors behind the 2011 buy-out, has a background in European FMCG, having worked for Danone, Coca Cola, Budweiser Bass and Whitbread distributor in Germany followed by a period working at A T Kearney, the international management consultancy. Led by a new board of directors, with major staff and operational changes, the company has grown from c.£34m turnover in 2011 to around £50m today. Based in Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, the business distributes 10,000 products from a unit of just under 100,000 sq ft. “We are semi-automated which has enabled us to optimise the operation to manage our expansive range, of which a quarter is refreshed every year. We have invested heavily, and three years ago implemented a new ERP system which allowed us to bolt on new technology, resulting in a very efficient

“That’s the thing that pulls everything we do at the Tree of Life together – that’s what we want to be known for.”


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

{ Tree of Life }

warehouse management system, finance system and links with trade on the way in and the way out through EDI.” Having moved from a narrow distribution channel strategy to a multi-channel strategy, Tree of Life has developed teams for each trade channel, from the major multiples, Ocado and Amazon, to specialist health stores, organic supermarkets, farm shops, garden centres and fitness studios. “Our job is to ensure that we find the greatest affinities between the products and the channels,” says John Weaver. “To make the products available so that shoppers can buy them. From the smaller independent sector to major multiples, we can advise how to range and manage product, including very new categories where data is inaccessible or poor. We have a buying and purchasing team with a very significant skill set, bringing decades’ long experience to bear on product range whilst looking out for the next trends, including sustainability, packaging and CSR.” This core expertise covers consolidating both health product and knowledge, including engaging with specialists on categories such as vegan, vegetarian, raw, protein, gluten free and other ‘free from’ ranges. Whilst the majority of business is domestic, the

company is also active in Scandinavia, as well as in Asia from China down to Singapore, and the directors travel widely, meeting suppliers and potential customers, as well as visiting trade shows in mainland Europe, Asia and the US. Back home, the 120 employees benefit from both training and opportunities to have their voices heard. “Staff engagement is important, that gives you retention,” says John Weaver. I have a monthly CEO question time, listening to people at all levels of the business to get them behind what we’re trying to achieve. It’s important to listen as much as tell.” Set up as a modular business, agile enough to expand in a variety of ways, the company is looking at both organic growth and acquisitions. What’s clear is that the driving force will continue to be Making Health Easy. “That’s the thing that pulls everything we do at the Tree of Life together – that’s what we want to be known for.”

Tel: 01782 567 100

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Afinia Label }

Label Printing Has Never Been Easier Afinia Label’s new range of digital print solutions allows customers to print, laminate and cut full-colour digital labels to any size they want – in house and on demand. To complement its printer range, Afinia has completely upgraded its range of finishes to cover everything from entry level digital plotting machines with a roll-to-roll plotter, to more advanced finishers with a lamination station, popular with customers such as producers of craft beers. Being able to print, cut and laminate labels of different sizes, all on one roll, is a great leveller as companies can do everything in house, regardless of their size. “Everyone always asks how much a printer will save them, but a better question is how much it will make them, because the machines help customers grow their product range as they are able to match a label to the product rather than the other way round,” explains EMEA Sales Manager, Nathan Daniel. This newly developed technology allows smaller


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

businesses to get a foothold in markets dominated by larger companies, as they can carry out promotions and test which products will work. “They’ve got access to the same kind of equipment as the larger companies now, and usually less bureaucracy, so it’s turning the whole industry on its head.” It also saves on costs, as businesses can buy in the cheaper continuous rolls at a set width and cut out the shape they need, even printing multiple jobs with different shapes on to the same roll. In-house machines also mean customers can deal with changes in legislation themselves and reduce stock wastage. On the printer side, Afinia has upgraded the DLP200 to the second-generation DLP2100 and introduced a number of HP-based printers at the lower end of its range, typically starting around £1,295 for the L301 entry level model, complemented by the larger L901,

{ Afinia Label }

with the L501 launching in February 2018. “We’ve just signed a deal with Kmart in Australia, who are putting the L301 in all of their stores to print personalised labels,” says Nathan Daniel. “This is a watershed moment, as smaller desktop printers can now do in-store labelling. They tested it in five stores and now they are rolling it out over 200 stores. It’s a trend that has excited people everywhere; the response has been phenomenal.” With headquarters in Minnesota and sites across the globe, Afinia manages its channel through high-quality resellers. “They all have technical departments to service the machines they sell so the customer isn’t left high and dry. But we’re also looking for people with experience and contacts in particular markets, rather than just printing experience, as we offer training.” One of Afinia’s key distributors is Magnum Materials, a company that has been going from strength to strength since being awarded the accolade of Afinia European Distributor of the Year. Magnum’s success has come from its technical sales team and the continuing service and support it offers the customer, post sale, taking the approach that the initial sale of equipment is the beginning of a partnership between the end user and the Magnum Materials team. The introduction of

the L301 machine has offered Magnum customers the chance to print their own labels at an affordable price and has opened the market up to anyone who wants to personalise labels or add value to products. The next level up is the L801 which offers much higher print speeds for the larger user. Magnum customers can benefit from a trained sales team and Afinia-certified service department. Strong sales in European and new markets led to 35% growth last year and Nathan Daniel expects similar growth next year, as more people become aware of this technology. “It will help them increase their brand presence against their competitors and also to innovate; any ideas they have they can implement themselves, they don’t need to go to a design agency or wait for a printer to respond. Everything will speed up. The people who benefit will be the brand owners and today’s consumer, who expect everything on demand. Bringing label printing in house will allow companies to deliver this.”

Tel: 0845 250 7949

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Joe’s Ice Cream }

From Monday To Sundae! From fresh vanilla made to a secret recipe to mince pie ice cream for the Christmas market, Joe’s Ice Cream continues to win over new customers. Established by Joe Cascarini in 1922, the popular business now has five Italian-style ice cream parlours across south Wales, all offering a takeaway and eat-in service. With increasing demand for dairy-free products, Joe’s are working on a wide range of sorbets that are creamier than traditional ice sorbets, and most of its products are gluten free. Although many customers continue to flock to the parlours still for ice cream in the colder months, the company has introduced hot waffles and hot drinks as real winter warmers. “This has worked really well, our parlours have been pretty busy with our waffles this year,” says General Manager Lucy Hughes, Joe’s great-great niece. “We also offer seasonal sundaes; for example, a Trick Oreo Treat Halloween themed one and a Mince Pie Sundae at Christmas time.” On the wholesale side, supermarket sales are up,


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

with a four-fold increase at Morrisons, and a new account at the Co-op. “We supply to about 50 of their stores, mostly in south and west Wales. It’s quite a good supermarket fit for us as people tend to buy branded products there.” Sales are steady and Joe’s has reached its annual target early, despite a less than average summer, weather wise. “The weather can affect the parlours, it really matters to us if the sun shines in the school holidays, and this year it didn’t, but the August bank holiday was a great success for us,” says Lucy Hughes. With both of her parents looking to retire from the family business, plans moving forward include investing in infrastructure and building the team, including marketing and social media support. New parlours remain an option, if the right site can be found, and on the wholesale side, the business is looking to continue in its growth.

{ Joe’s Ice Cream }

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News



November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

{ Mackle Snacks }

Your Partner for Healthy Snacking Specialising in healthy extruded snacks for the adult, children and baby markets, Mackle Snacks offers a complete NPD service, from origination to manufacture.


hether producing private label snacks for retailers or partnering with market-leading brands on bespoke snacks, Mackle Snacks works closely with its clients to create the right solutions for their requirements. “We like to see ourselves as innovation and manufacturing partners,” explains Joanne Milligan, the company’s Technical Director. “Our clients have the customer base but not the manufacturing facility, so we bridge the gap between the two, offering a complete NPD service from concept through to launch and manufacturing services afterwards.”

Product innovation Ideas for new products either come from research conducted in house, which the company then presents to customers during innovation sessions, or are customer-led, where the client comes up with new ideas, often with specific ingredients that they would like to incorporate.

As well as working with major names, Mackle Snacks has established partnerships with newer brands, in particular those operating in the healthy snacking arena. Working closely with these clients, the company helps them to bring a product to market and to grow as a brand. “We have the ability to work with customers and start small,” says Joanne Milligan. “We have some very big competitors out there, but we offer new customers the opportunity to launch and get started in the market, then we support them in their growth and get them to the stage where they have the larger volumes.” Products are primarily aimed at niche markets, including organic, gluten-free, high-fibre and high-protein snacks. Mackle Snacks has also established a strong reputation in the baby snacks sector. All products are vegetarian or vegan, free from artificial colours and flavours, and GM free. Recently, the introduction of twin

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Mackle Snacks }

screw extrusion has allowed the company to work with more complex raw materials, in particular healthy ingredients. “We’re always keen to try new things; we see innovation as key. Health is a big trend in snacking at the moment and extrusion allows us to use a wide range of alternatives and health-beneficial ingredients. So we are working with things like ancient grains and vegetable powders.”

Moving with the times Based in Dungannon, Co Tyrone in Northern Ireland, the company was founded in 2005 by current Managing Director, Joseph Mackle, after he spotted a gap in the market for extruded snacks. In the early days, Mackle Snacks produced private label snacks such as bacon fries and onion rings for retailers, but more recently the focus has shifted to contract manufacturing. “The work with retailers was our bread and butter for a long time and it gave us the knowledge and experience to move on to the private brands,” explains Joanne Milligan. “Joseph’s famous words are: if you’re not moving forwards you’re moving backwards. So we’re always looking at market trends and coming up with products to meet those trends.” The company has certainly come a long way in recent years and now exports throughout Europe and into the USA, China and Australia. When Joanne joined the business in 2012, there were 12 staff and now there are over 70. “One thing I really like about this company is that despite our growth, we still manage to maintain that family-run feel. Joseph is still very much involved in every aspect of the company and there are staff working for Mackle Snacks who worked for him when he started the company.” New customers often come through the website or from attendance at shows like PMLA, as well as through word of mouth recommendations.

Customer retention is critical and staff training highly valued. “While we do seek out new customers, a lot of emphasis is on looking after the customers we already have and developing really good relationships with them. We tend to find that once we gain a customer or a brand, they stay with us to develop more products.”

The next step In 2015, the business set out its 2020 Vision, a fiveyear plan to provide clarity about where it plans to be by 2020. As part of this vision, targets were set for annual growth of 10%, which have so far been surpassed every year. The past 12 months have seen a lot of investment back into the business and more is planned, including building a new warehousing facility and extending the offices at the 45,000 sq ft, BRC accredited manufacturing base. “We will continue to invest in the company moving forward,” says Joanne Milligan. “We are not solely extrusion, we are looking at other forms of snacks, other processes we can introduce to extend the range of snacks that we offer. Our plan for the future is to continue to work with current brands and to partner with new brands.”

Tel: 028 8778 9338

We are pleased to be associated with Mackle Snacks and wish them continued success for the future.

Call 028 3760 0000

Email: 50

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

PrimePac Ltd, manufacturers of plastic bottles and containers is pleased to support Mackle Snacks. Tel: +44 (0)28 94428 188 Fax: +44 (0)28 94428 177 Email:

The Trusted Potato Experts

Proud to be part of Mackle Snacks success. McCormack Potato Ltd T: 028 8778 4429 | F: 028 8778 4234 E:

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Nimbus Foods }

Helping to Turn Ordinary Products Into Extraordinary Eating Experiences Creating innovative inclusions, decorations and toppings that take account of marketplace trends has proved a winning formula for Nimbus Foods. A leading manufacturer of inclusions, decorations and toppings for the bakery, confectionery, dairy, desserts, ice cream, snack and cereals sector, Nimbus Foods works with both specialist food companies and global brands. The company produces high-quality products that remain stable in both extremely high and low temperatures, providing moisture barriers, long shelf life and cost effectiveness for its customers. Research, consultation and keeping an ear to the ground has helped Nimbus stay ahead of the game when it comes to the latest trends. “We’ve been moving with the times with what our customers want in terms of innovation and trends, which has resulted in a lot of the growth we’ve experienced recently,” explains Sales Director, Jack Proctor. “The trends this year are for gold, rose gold, silver and bronze – a lot of the decorations and coatings have a metallic finish on top.”

From retail to branded business The business has enjoyed growth of more than 50% in the last two years, primarily driven by a shift of focus


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

from servicing predominantly manufacturers for retail clients to creating branded products for blue chip clients. Meanwhile, the range has expanded to around 260 products, including different variants, with inclusions and decorations for everything from biscuits and confectionery to cereals and desserts. “Supplying manufacturers who supply the retail sector, a lot of products have a short life cycle of around six to 12 months, whereas when a product becomes part of a brand portfolio, it has a much longer life cycle, perhaps up to four years,” says Jack Proctor. “Also, with branded products for major international confectionery companies, the volumes that we’re looking at from them are significantly bigger than we had in the past, which has driven some of the growth in our business.”

Export and distribution This growth is particularly evident in the export division, with products reaching more than 20 countries and sales increasing across the board. “We’ve grown our export sales by working more closely with

With over 75 years of experience, Delicia can rightfully call itself a specialist in the field of chocolate products. Not just in the production of chocolate vermicelli, the typically Dutch sandwich filling, but also chocolate flakes, chocolate pajets, cocoa fantasy, vermicelli rainbow mix, chocolate crispies and other delicious chocolate products. Every year, Delicia produces more than 25 million kilograms of chocolate products which are sold throughout Europe. We are proud to be associated with Nimbus Foods and wish them continued success for the future. November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Nimbus Foods }

our distributors and changing some of our distributor partners; the ones we have now are those that can help us grow the business in the future.” In many instances, it’s a case of making better use of the branded relationships already established in the UK to win contracts abroad. “Once we’re an approved supplier to, say, a big UK division of an international confectionery company, it makes it easier to sell to their overseas markets as well. It’s about exporting that relationship into those companies and their markets, which is proving very successful for us.”

Site investment Originally founded to produce inclusions for the Halo Foods range of cereal and snack bars, Nimbus expanded into its current site in 1996 – a 50,000 sq ft state-of-the-art ‘nut free’ production facility in Dolgellau, in the heart of the Welsh mountains. Recent growth has led to some challenges, such as keeping up with customer demand. As a result, Nimbus is embarking on a major investment programme at its BRC Grade A certified, and kosher and halal certified, manufacturing site. The company originally had an investment plan to spend £1.1m on the site over three years, but this has now been approved for immediate implementation to help Nimbus deal with supply issues. The site production capacity will increase by around 40%, and

will see the installation of a new production line and new equipment. The production facility is also now home to a new development kitchen. “We’ve never had that luxury before; we had to farm out the development work we wanted to do to other places, such as universities,” says Jack Proctor. “We have employed two application chefs to provide finished products to customers and work closely with them on development work, all on site.” By bringing customers to the premises and allowing them to discuss and test new ideas with the development chefs, it is hoped that stronger relationships will be forged moving forwards.

It’s all about exports In the coming years, the main focus will continue to be on the export market. The company’s five-year plan has a projected growth of 20% growth in the UK, but with the export market, the goal is for 50%. Having previously dealt with export as well as home sales, Jack Proctor now has a new Export Sales Manager to work alongside him, as well as two new UK sales people, bringing the total head-count to 57. “Our five-year plan is an ambitious one but it’s an exciting time to be in our business. We’ve got a great team of people and I believe we can drive the business to where we need it to be.”

“Our five-year plan is an ambitious one but it’s an exciting time to be in our business. We’ve got a great team of people and I believe we can drive the business to where we need it to be.”


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

{ Nolan Seafoods }

Bigger & Better Exciting times are ahead at Nolan Seafoods, as the company joins forces with International Fish Canners and Nor-sea Foods to corner the fish market.


he news is hot off the press: in October 2017, Nolan Seafoods in Aberdeen sold a 75% stake to International Fish Canners (Scotland) Ltd, based in Fraserburgh, and Nor-sea Foods Ltd, based in Aberdeen. In one fell swoop, the group will now be able to supply fresh, frozen, smoked and canned fish to customers across the UK, Ireland and beyond – with a total of 750 staff and a combined turnover of almost £80m. This is no impersonal takeover, however, as George Nolan, who retains a 25% stake in Nolan Seafoods and continues as Chairman of H J Nolan (Dublin), is brother-in-law to Michael and Francis Clark, owners of International Fish Canners and Nor-sea. “It’s a very exciting development for us as they are very strong in canned fish, and smoked mackerel, herring and kippers in the UK market,” says George

Nolan. “Whereas we are based 85% on the export of fresh and frozen white fish and salmon products.”

Keeping it in the family The new set-up came about after George Nolan was approached by other companies looking to acquire Nolan Seafoods. “I told Michael and Francis and they expressed interest in buying it,” he says. “They are very dynamic and exciting characters. Their father was a doctor and gave up medicine to work in the seafood industry. He has a massive reputation and the boys are carrying on that tradition. It is a much better fit to keep it in the family – our grandfathers did business together and I’m married to their sister, Linda – plus I’m able to keep a 25% stake in Nolan Seafoods while continuing as Chairman of H J Nolan in Dublin.”

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Nolan Seafoods }

Something for everyone The statistics are impressive: as the only fish canning factory left in the UK, International Fish Canners is currently canning a million cans a week for retailers in the UK and for export to Australia, Canada and France. Nor-sea, meanwhile, produces 100 tons of smoked fish, such as kippers and mackerel, every week for the major multiples and discounters. H J Nolan (Dublin) and Nolan Seafoods have plenty to bring to the table, too, processing around 250 tons of white fish products a week, with prime species including cod, coley, hake, haddock and whiting, along with salmon products. “As a result of these changes, the customer base will expand, with our customers gaining access to International Fish Canners and Nor-sea products, and vice versa. And we bring the export side to the business that they weren’t as strong on.”

Updated facilities The original parent company, Nolans Quality Seafoods, was founded in Dublin in 1912 by fish salesman Harry Joseph Nolan, George’s grandfather. The Aberdeen site was established 15 years ago with four people; today it has 225 employees and a turnover of £30m.

Now BRC double A Grade, Nolan’s processing facilities also have MSC Chain of Custody, Organic Food Federation, FDA, EU, US and Chinese approval. Around 18 months ago, Nolan added a new cryogenic freezer to its 185,000 sq ft premises in Aberdeen. “It’s the first of its kind in the UK and it takes the product down to -40°C in four and a half minutes,” explains George Nolan. Further investment will include 45,000 sq ft of new smoking facilities for smoked mackerel, kippers and salmon. Although H J Nolan already smokes fish at its Dublin unit, this will expand production and allow the business to smoke Scottish salmon in Scotland and Irish salmon in Ireland. Meanwhile, H J Nolan in Ireland will soon be moving to a larger, purpose-built facility near the M50, which is currently under planning, with the expectation of starting the build in the spring and moving in before Christmas 2018. “It will be the finest smoked salmon factory in Europe,” says George Nolan. “I’ve bought and sold several smoked salmon factories and we’re going to build something special here.”

“In life you need serious determination and a strong work ethic, but you also need a lot of luck. We’ve had good fortune but we also have a fantastic team, plus Michael and Francis are two of the most dynamic players in the industry.”


November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

Moving forward As the future plans for the company come under discussion with its new partners, George Nolan hopes to see continuing growth across all sites. Staff training and development will continue to be a key part of future planning, with a recognition that retaining staff is a major challenge for companies in the UK and Ireland. “There’s some uncertainty with Brexit but we hope to grow and take our white fish production up to 500 tons a week,” says George Nolan. “It’s quite exciting; there are not a lot of people expanding at the same rate that we are.” And to what does he credit the business’s success so far? “In life you need serious determination and a strong work ethic, but you also need a lot of luck. We’ve had good fortune but we also have a fantastic team, plus Michael and Francis are two of the most dynamic players in the industry.”

“Suppliers of Fresh Seafood”

Wholesale Fish Merchants & Hauliers Supplying All White Fish & Deep Water Species to the UK and European Markets

Norscot Seafoods Ltd Kinlochbervie, Scotland Tel: 01971 521357 Email:

Established over 10 years, Kingfisher Fresh Ltd is a dedicated whole fresh fish distributor, operating from Kerlogue Industrial Estate, Rosslare Road, Wexford nestled in the Sunny South East of Ireland. Situated right on the direct ferry link to mainland Europe. One of Ireland’s largest whole fresh fish facilities. Its principle role is the sale and distribution of whole fresh white fish and whole prawns to customers in Ireland, Scotland, UK, and Europe. Sourced from a number of locally owned trawlers in a sustainable and environment friendly manner.

Kingfisher Fresh Limited Strandfield Business Park, Rosslare Road, Wexford Republic of Ireland Tel: +353 (0) 53 9146047 • Tel: +353 (0) 86 731 7927 Fax: +353 (0) 53 9144704 • Email:

Supporting Irish Trawlers engaging in sustainable fishing methods.

November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


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November/December 2017 Food & Drink News

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November/December 2017 Food & Drink News


Food & Drink News November/December 2017  

Check out the new look Food & Drink News now available on issuu. Including the latest industry news, focusses and features.

Food & Drink News November/December 2017  

Check out the new look Food & Drink News now available on issuu. Including the latest industry news, focusses and features.