The Parliamentary Review - Food & Drink 2016-2017

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2016 / 2017 FOOD & DRINK



The Rt Hon Theresa May MP The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP Ian Wright R E P R E S E N TAT I V E S

Glanbia Cheese



Lyburn Farmhouse Cheesemakers


Ford Farm

Simtom Food Products

The Handmade Cake Company

KTC Edibles

UPB Products Ltd

Friars Pride


Punjab Pakora

Lynher Dairies

The Harry Hotspur Group F E AT U R E S

Review of the Year Review of Parliament ©2017 WESTMINSTE R PUB LI CATI O N S

Foreword The Rt Hon Theresa May MP Prime Minister

And, of course, it was a year in which the General Election showed that parts of our country remain divided and laid a fresh challenge to all of us involved in politics to resolve our differences, deal with injustices and take, not shirk, the big decisions. That is why our programme for government for the coming year is about recognising and grasping the opportunities that lie ahead for the United Kingdom as we leave the EU. The referendum vote last year was not just a vote to leave the EU – it was a profound and justified expression that our country often does not work the way it should for millions of ordinary working families. So we need to deliver a Brexit deal that works for all parts of the UK, while continuing to build a stronger, fairer country by strengthening our economy, tackling injustice and promoting opportunity and aspiration. In the year ahead we will continue to bring down the deficit so that young people do not spend most of their working lives paying for our failure to live within our means. We will take action to build a stronger economy so that we can improve people’s living standards and fund the public services on which we all depend. We will continue with our modern Industrial Strategy,

deliver the next phase of high-speed rail, improve our energy infrastructure and support the development of automated vehicles and satellite technology, building a modern economy which creates the high-skill jobs of the future. At the same time, work needs to be done to build a fairer society – where people can go as far as their talents will take them and no one is held back because of their background. So we will continue to work to ensure every child has the opportunity to attend a good school. We will continue to invest in the NhS and reform mental health legislation, making this a priority. And we will work to address the challenges of social care for our ageing population, bringing forward proposals for consultation to build widespread support. So this is a Government determined to deliver the best Brexit deal, intent on building a stronger economy and a fairer society, committed to keeping our country safe, enhancing our standing in the wider world, and bringing our United Kingdom closer together. We will continue to put ourselves at the service of millions of ordinary working people for whom we will work every day in the national interest.

This year’s Parliamentary Review follows a significant year in British politics. It was a year in which our economy continued to grow, as the Government followed its balanced plan to keep the public finances under control while investing to build a stronger economy. It was a year in which we began to deliver on the result of the EU referendum by triggering Article 50 and publishing the Repeal Bill, which will allow for a smooth and orderly transition as the UK leaves the EU, maximising certainty for individuals and businesses.

This year’s Parliamentary Review follows a significant year in British politics


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Foreword The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape our relationship with our land, our rivers and our seas. By delivering a Green Brexit we can reform how we manage agriculture and fisheries, and how we protect our natural environment. I want Britain to be a global champion for sustainable development, a world leader in environmental science, and a setter of gold standards in protecting and growing natural capital. That is my Department’s driving ambition – and it should be central in the next five years of our national mission. The first step is our 25-year Environment Plan – setting out how we manage our natural assets to create a lasting legacy for future generations. Laying the ground for this, I have asked the Natural Capital Committee’s advice on what the plan should aim to achieve, where improvements are most urgent and where the benefits are greatest.

I hope that in years to come people can look back and say our generation lived up to the challenge and handed on a greener, cleaner, better, richer planet to the next generation.

The Common Agricultural Policy will be replaced. Our new agricultural policy will recognise the importance of improving production as well as protecting our strong food and animal welfare standards and it will ensure farmers are rewarded for providing environmental goods – whether that’s protecting or enhancing habitats for biodiversity or planting more trees to combat soil erosion.

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In reshaping both of these policies, our central aim is the enhancement of our environment. Building on existing European standards, we can make Britain a global leader – creating, new institutions, mechanisms and gold standards for protecting our environment. We also have an opportunity to be global leaders in the fight against climate change, the struggle against the illegal wildlife trade and in the promotion and enhancement of animal welfare.

By delivering a Green Brexit we can reform how we manage agriculture and fisheries

This work will help shape the upcoming Agriculture and Fisheries Bills and how we use public money to reward environmentally-responsible practices. These bills will provide stability for farmers as we leave the EU and make sure we can continue to protect and enhance our environment and, as an independent coastal state, do more with conservation.

We will also no longer be wedded to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The CFP has encouraged fishing at a rate more than 50% above scientific advice. Our new approach will put the best interests of UK fishermen at its heart along with the highest standards of marine conservation.

Foreword Ian Wright Director General of FDF

The United Kingdom’s food and drink industry occupies a unique place within the nation’s economy. We are found at the heart of every home, in every town, in every region. The shopper and consumer is at the very centre of all we do as a sector. Food and drink is crucial to our country’s success.

potential. Only one in five food and drink manufacturers currently export. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is clear that dedicated specialist support – along the lines of Ireland’s Bord Bia – for new and existing exporters is required for us to fulfil our ambition to grow branded exports by a third by 2020 to more than £6 billion.

The food and drink manufacturing sector generated more than £20 billion in exports last year. Around 400,000 people earn a living working from these businesses in almost 7,000 companies spread throughout the country. We work closely with our partners in farming, food retail and hospitality to harness the voice of the entire supply chain. The wider ‘farm to fork’ industry is an economic superpower, worth £110 billion to the UK and employing more than four million people.

We welcome the Government’s decision to place industrial strategy front and centre of its vision for a ‘Global Britain’. Now is the time to harness industry and government expertise to build a long-term vision for food, farming and fisheries.

Our industry has seen continued success in overseas markets. Total exports of food and drink in 2016 grew by 10.5% to a record figure of more than £20 billion, as UK manufacturers responded to rapid growth in demand for quality produce. This was the 16th year of consecutive growth, yet there is still massive untapped

This was the 16th year of consecutive growth, yet there is still massive untapped potential

Today, our industry is presented with an unprecedented number of challenges and opportunities. The decision to leave the EU has meant we have had to adapt and react to a changing landscape. We devoutly hope to see government secure the best possible Brexit for food and drink, as the UK’s largest manufacturing sector.

As we celebrate the successes of the past year and look forward to the promise of the coming 12 months, we urge all those in food and drink manufacturing and the wider supply chain to join us in our shared mission: to continue providing consumers with safe, affordable and nutritious food and drink and to further unlock our potential as a sector.


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Andrew Neil Return of the Two Party System The BBC’s Andrew Neil gives his take on the state of Parliament following the June 2017 general election. It was a year in which politicians learned not only of the power of a referendum to overrule the will of Parliament – but of its power to change the party system in which they operate. Nobody saw this coming. But, in retrospect, perhaps we should have, since we had the fallout from the Scottish referendum to guide us. In the autumn of 2014 the Scots voted 55%-45% to remain part of the United Kingdom. That was supposed to settle the matter of Scottish independence for a generation, until some Scottish Nationalists began regarding a generation as no more than a couple of years. But in postreferendum elections to Holyrood and Westminster, it also recast the Scottish party system. Remember, Scotland had been one of the first parts of the UK to throw off the British two-party system and replace it with a multi-party choice of SNP, Labour, Tory, Green, Lib Dem and even UKIP. But as the constitutional issue took centrestage – and remained there even after the referendum – Scottish voters coalesced round a binary choice: for or against independence. Thus was a new two-party system born of a centre-left Nationalist party (the SNP) and a centre-right Unionist party (the Scottish Tories). The other parties have not been completely obliterated, especially in Holyrood with its peculiar voting system. But by the general election of 2017 Scotland had become a battle between a dominant

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Nationalist party and a resurgent Tory party representing the Union. Two-party politics was back north of the border. So we should have been prepared for something similar when Britain voted 52% to 48% to leave the European Union in the June 2016 referendum. At the time, we remarked on the power of referenda to overrule both the Commons (where MPs were 65% pro-EU) and the Lords (probably 80% pro-EU). What we did not see was how the Brexit referendum would reconfigure English politics just as the Scottish referendum had redrawn Scottish politics. So we were taken by surprise for a second time. In this year’s general election – perhaps the single biggest act of self-harm a sitting government has ever inflicted on itself – almost 85% in England voted either Conservative or Labour. The English had not voted in such numbers for both major parties since 1970, when the post-war two-party system began to wane – and declined in subsequent elections to a point where barely 65% voted Tory or Labour, encouraging some commentators to think the decline terminal.

The referendum, however, reversed the decline. The Brexit vote ended the schism on the Eurosceptic Right as UKIP voters returned to the Tory fold; and those on the Left of the Greens and the Lib Dems flocked to Jeremy Corbyn’s more ‘Red Flag’ Labour offering. So, as in Scotland previously, two-party politics was back with a vengeance in England too. But without one crucial element. Our historic two-party system regularly produced one-party government for the life of a Parliament. But our new two-party system has produced a hung Parliament with no party having an overall majority. This knife-edge parliamentary arithmetic means the smaller parties may be down – but they are not out. The Conservatives need an alliance with one small party (Ulster’s DUP) to be sure of a majority. Even then, with the Tories and Labour divided over Brexit, no majority on any issue will be certain and on many votes the smaller parties will be pivotal in determining many outcomes. So politicians return from their summer recess to a great parliamentary paradox: the two-party system has resurrected itself but rather than bringing with it the stability and certainty of the two-party politics of old, almost every major vote in the months ahead will be uncertain and unpredictable – and politics will be peculiarly unstable. Power will rest in Parliament. Government will be able to take nothing for granted. No vote will be in the bag until all the votes are counted. Westminster will have a new lease of life – perhaps even a spring in its step. Our democracy might be all the better for it.

Neil believes two referendums have redrawn the map of British politics. ANDREW NEIL


Review of the Year Brexit and the food and drink industry

the amount of goods that can travel, or adds to time and cost, and increases the potential for food to perish,’ says Ian Wright, Director-General of the FDF. 71% of FDF’s membership voted to remain in the EU, just 12% wanted to leave and 17% expressed no preference. Wright’s industry is one manufacturing sector that has the most to lose from a Brexit where Britain leaves the customs union. Food is global and there are many European and international food and drink companies with manufacturing sites in Britain. The UK’s decision to leave the EU will have a bigger impact on the food & drink industry in comparison to other sectors

Food and farming are the sectors that will be most impacted by Brexit, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) says. From Derry to Dundalk, food producers who are accustomed to crossing the border from Northern Ireland to Ireland freely, are pondering what a hard border would mean to delivery times and their businesses. Neither the British nor Irish governments want a hard land border with checkpoints and the implied risk of smuggling. But in late-July 2017, the Irish Government rejected Theresa May’s border proposals – using camera surveillance technology to keep trade moving freely – as unworkable, and proposed customs and immigration checks at airports and ports. Norway and Sweden are neighbours but Norway’s status outside the EU means goods can take an extra two days to transport cross-border. Remember, the UK is Ireland’s biggest trading partner for food and drink, where 41% (€4.4 billion) of Ireland’s food and drink exports go to the UK. ‘The average life of fresh food is four days, so a one or two-day delay reduces

Border delays for fresh food goods is one problem. Labour is another. With Brexit, the food and drink industry needs to focus on three specifics, says the FDF: the European workers need to be confident that they can stay here; that regulatory frameworks will protect them; and that they will be able to easily pass across borders and through customs checks. Of the 400,000 people directly employed in food manufacturing (not including farming and distribution), about 117,000–120,000 are European. Also, 130,000 of the total employed are over 55-years old – so the food industry has both a labour qualification and an age problem. ‘Of the 120,000 we don’t know how many will have been here for five years on Brexit day,’ says Wright. ‘If you take the best guess plus the number over 55, which is skewed to nearer 65, it means of those 120k more than half are over 60, and more again are 55–63,’ pointing to a labour force crisis within five years. The outcome of this could be very serious. ‘If companies cannot find the people they need to operate their businesses in the medium term, some REVIEW OF THE YEAR

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Review of the Year will leave,’ says Wright, a statement put into context considering that of the 30 biggest food and drink companies manufacturing in Britain, only five are British owned. Many media outlets reported that European applicants for seasonal jobs in growing and farming in 2017 are down on previous years. The seasonal farming workforce often remain here after

the picking season and work in food manufacturing and packing. According to industry groups and business owners, it is becoming increasingly hard to attract this kind of employee to Britain because of the collapse in the pound. The slump in sterling since 23 June 2016 is eroding potential earnings, and uncertainty over the eventual status of EU nationals has not helped.

Food and drink regulations The food and drink industry in Britain has spent decades working with European partners and parent companies refining industry regulations and standards. What happens now? The Government’s line is, broadly, to bring all the European legislation home and then enshrine it in British law. There are two problems with that process, says Ian Wright. ‘how much of that legislation makes sense being in British law, because when converted it will leave what you would call ‘widows and orphans’, that is, it will not be justified and tidy.’ he continues ‘Laws currently refer to ‘deliberative bodies’ or adjudicatory bodies that don’t exist outside the EU,’ inferring a minefield of EU to British legal conversion. Food and drink has plenty of regulation, covering provenance, labelling, ingredients, health and safety, packaging, and more. Because Theresa May failed to secure a majority government, the Salisbury

Convention – which prevents the house of Lords from blocking the second or third reading of government legislation – does not apply. ‘The consequence of that is we could find all sorts of things happening as the Great Repeal Bill goes through its process, as the Lords takes seriously its expert amendment role,’ says Wright.

Investment and enterprise thrives Overall, food companies are investing in their UK factories and the mood is generally positive. Evidence of this is easy to find. British food and drink exports are up to record levels in 2017 as surging sales of salmon, whisky,

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cheese and chocolate to foreign buyers lifted food exports to £4.9 billion in May, a year-on-year rise of 8.3%. Much of this was attributed to the fall in sterling, which made UK food more competitive.

Ensuring legislative equivalency will be a difficult task for the UK following Brexit

FOOD & DRINK Cadbury said it was reshoring production of two premier products after a £75 million investment in Birmingham. Four new production lines in Bourneville will mean the Dairy Milk Oreo and Tiffin bars will move permanently back from current production sites in Germany and Poland.

Costa, the popular café chain, is expanding UKbased production of its coffee

Business advisory firm BDO’s annual food and drink report published in May said 72% of food firms were either positive or very positive about growth prospects, 66% were increasing their investment in automation and, surprisingly, 81% expect revenue growth of up to 20% in the next year. however, over three quarters of the survey said that raw material price volatility and foreign exchange were the primary threats to their business. And 28% had experienced a decrease in operating margins, showing the price squeeze in the food and drink sector is still an existential feature. In March McCain Foods committed to ‘decades more’ work at its Scarborough plant when it pledged £100 million in expansion and upgrades. It was later granted planning permission to extend the plant. The food giant said the investment was being made to satisfy increasing demand for products and to safeguard jobs.

A new factory costing £55 million being built in Lincolnshire for Ryvita is expected to make up to 750 million units of the rye-based snack a year. In March apetito’s Wiltshire Farm Foods announced a £31 million investment to expand its factory, increase productivity and buy new cooking facilities. It said its carbon footprint would reduce by 47% as a result. In May, 2 Sisters Food Group announced a £10 million investment in its ready meals factory specialising in Chinese food in Rogerstone, South Wales. The latest spend brings the total investment in factories by 2 Sisters’ boss, Ranjit Boparan, to £47.6 million in 2017, including a £25 million investment in its farms run by hook 2 Sisters. As well as other factory investment announcements from companies including Kingsley Beverages and Costa, 2017 was notable for the rise in food entrepreneurs in new food types (continuing a trend lasting several years). ‘Free-from’ ranges, plant-based foods, craft beers and, increasingly, insect protein foods all made big gains in 2017.

Common Agricultural Policy Since 1962, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has been a cornerstone of the European project. Today, it accounts for almost half of the European Union’s annual budget. The CAP is a key area of the Brexit negotiations. Established in the postwar period of the early 60s, it was

designed to ensure food security. Since then it has gone through a series of reforms, focusing more and more on the environmental protection and stewardship of the continent’s landscapes. Government data showed that CAP payments accounted for 55% of UK REVIEW OF THE YEAR

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Review of the Year farmers’ income in 2014. The decision to leave the EU meant that UK farmers would no longer have access to this funding after 2019. For many, this was a massive concern and it could make them consider whether or not to remain in the sector. A mass exodus from farming raises a number of concerns for policymakers, such as food security, environmental management, wealth generation and employment. The concerns were also echoed in the Commons in January, with Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central, voicing a common worry about those in the rural economy ‘With subsidies accounting for over half the income and investment resources of farmers, they need to know what will take its place.’ There was a fear among MPs with constituencies in Scotland that, as funds from CAP are not subject to the Barnett Formula, which proportionally divides funds among England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Scottish rural economy would suffer as a result because they would not receive the same level of funding from the Westminster Government as they currently did from Brussels. The then Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, tried to allay those fears by saying that leaving the EU presented ‘huge opportunities’ for the farming and fisheries sectors. She added ‘It is vital that we provide the industry with as much continuity and certainty as we can. That is why we have already provided reassurance to all farmers across the UK that they will receive the same level of financial support under pillar one until 2020.’ For MPs with constituencies that were in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, she stated ‘The Government will also ensure that the devolved administrations are funded to meet the

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commitments they have made under current EU budget allocations.’ Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference in January, Farming Minister, George Eustice, said the Government would introduce policies that would work for all farmers in the UK. Commenting on replacing CAP payments to farmers, he added ‘If subsidies equal direct payments, of course we want to move away from that. ‘We want support to help farmers improve productivity, and target the support at active farmers. We can design a system which does that.’ The former Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, outlined how leaving the UK was something to be embraced, not feared. In a report he authored, he said that leaving the EU would result in food prices falling by 10%, rather than increasing. he said that leaving the CAP would be beneficial to UK farmers as the universal one-size-fits-all structure of the policy across the vast and diverse landmass of Europe was failing. he observed ‘The great tragedy is that the CAP has failed not only as a policy for food production – the UK’s self-sufficiency rate of 61% in 2015 was 1% lower than in 2014, but 13% lower than 20 years ago – and is now also failing as an environmental policy.’ The National Farmers Union, who adopted a neutral position during the EU referendum campaign, said Brexit did present an opportunity to deliver ‘a regulatory framework suited for UK farmers’. however, it added ‘Government must not ignore the economic importance of the farming sector. It’s the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing industry – food and drink – which is worth £108 billion and employs 3.9 million people.’

Former leader of UKIP Nigel Farage was strongly critical of the Common Agricultural Policy, arguing that it gave an unfair deal to British farmers


Food exports With Brexit set for March 2019 prompting an unnerving level of uncertainty among business leaders, Ministers were keen to highlight the fact that there was a big world of opportunities out there.

Ministers believe the sale of beef, pork and potatoes to China could raise over £400 million

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs established the Great British Food Unit in January 2016, launching it with considerable fanfare and ambitious claims that manufactured food exports would increase by £6 billion by 2020. They also forecasted that it would create thousands of new jobs in the sector. Nine months later, the then Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom revised the target, down from £6 billion to £2.9 billion, of which about 75% was coming from countries outside of the EU. Ms Leadsom’s department said the figure was revised because the new target of £2.9 billion was a more detailed assessment of nine priority markets that offered the best growth. These markets included China, Japan, India and the US. Only Germany and France were EU countries identified as priority areas. Ministers suggested that food manufacturers could expect to raise an additional £400 million a year by selling beer, pork and potatoes to China. Tea, biscuits and jam were identified as products that would do well in the Japanese market. Outlining the Government’s International Action Plan for Food and Drink, Ms Leadsom said ‘Our food and drink is renowned for having the very best standards of animal welfare, quality and safety and I want even more of the world to enjoy what we have to offer.’

Within government, there was a feeling that there was room for growth when it came to food and drink exports.’ She added ‘Scottish salmon, Welsh beef, Northern Irish whiskey and English cheese are already well-known globally and I want us to build on this success by helping even more companies send their top quality food and drink abroad.’ According to The Financial Times newspaper, the UK exported £18 billion of food and drink products in 2016. Yet France’s and Germany’s export figures were both more than double the UK’s. It added that only 20% of UK-based food businesses exported its products. Ian Wright, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation, was supportive of the initiative, saying ‘Export growth is hugely important to our sector. We hope that the International Action Plan for Food and Drink will open more channels and provide direct support to new and existing food and drink exporters.’ In February, it seemed as if the early signs of boosting exports were positive. Government data suggested that exports had increased by 10% during 2016. Defra added that the growth showed ‘no sign of slowing’, even amid the uncertainty of Brexit. Speaking ahead of the National Farmers Union Conference, Ms Leadsom declared ‘As we prepare to leave the EU, there has never been a better time to become more outward looking – developing new trading relationships and establishing our place as a truly Global Britain.’ however, Labour MP for York Central, Rachael Maskell, used a Commons REVIEW OF THE YEAR

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Review of the Year debate to say that while focusing on the long-term exports, the Government was failing the farming community by not offering clarity. ‘Let’s not get away from the fact that it is tough out there: incomes are falling and debts are rising. Incomes were down by a shocking 29% last year, and

a fifth of farmers are struggling just to pay their bills,’ she told MPs. ‘The average debt for a farming business is now £188,500, and too many have gone out of business altogether, including more than 1,000 dairy farmers in the last three years. Not all farmers are thriving, or even surviving.’

Soil health Farm productivity is shaped by the soil. A handful of the stuff can contain billions of microorganisms and it takes more than 1,000 years to form just a centimetre of topsoil. We abuse it or ignore it at our peril. Without soil, we do not eat and lose vital ecosystem services that underpin our economic, social and environmental wellbeing. MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee recognised the value of the ground under our feet and decided to investigate the health of the UK’s soil, and whether public policy was helping or hindering it. During the course of their inquiry into soil health, the committee heard that about 300,000 hectares of soil was believed to be contaminated with ‘toxic elements – such as cadmium, arsenic and lead’, as a legacy of the nation’s industrial past. The MPs were critical of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) because, they said, the Department had withdrawn capital grant funding for local authorities to clean up this contamination. Without this funding, resource-squeezed local councils were unlikely to address the problems linked to contaminated soil, such as poor health, they added. The Committee’s report said untreated contamination may harm water quality, as well as public health.

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‘Our industrial heritage means that hundreds of thousands of sites across the country are contaminated by chemicals, heavy metals, tar, asbestos and landfill,’ observed Committee Chairwoman, Mary Creagh. ‘Often materials were disposed of on site and buildings demolished without the environmental safety regulations we take for granted today.’ She added that she considered that Defra’s ‘complacent decision’ to withdraw grants had ‘undermined the ability of councils to identify and clean up polluted brownfield sites not dealt with through the planning system’. She concluded ‘This presents a real danger that contaminated sites are being left unidentified with consequential public health impacts.’

Approximately 300,000 hectares of soil is believed to be contaminated with toxic elements

FOOD & DRINK In November 2016, in what was considered to be the first debate on soil health in Parliament’s history, Defra Minister, Thérèse Coffey, acknowledged that soil was a valuable and finite resource and its health was something that was on the Whitehall radar. ‘The benefits derived from healthy soil are many and they have a very important role to play,’ she said.

Rebecca Pow MP

‘It is for those reasons that the protection and sustainable management of our soils is integral to our thinking in the 25-year environment plan and the 25-year food, farming and fisheries plan.’ The health of soil on agricultural land was too loosely regulated, warned the MPs on the Efra committee. They said that the Government relied too much on subsidies that attempted to limit damage to the soil, rather than focusing on improving the robustness and health of the land.

In the Commons debate, Conservative MP, Rebecca Pow, described soil as the ‘stuff of life’. She explained ‘It is as important as the water we drink and the air we breathe – they are all inextricably linked. Without healthy soils, we cannot produce healthy, sustainable food.’ As well as highlighting the important role healthy soil can play in extreme flooding events by absorbing more water and slowing the flow of water reaching river systems, she also highlighted the role of soil in combatting climate change by mitigating atmospheric carbon by sequestrating the molecules and locking them underground. ‘[Many people] were unaware … that ... soil stores three times as much carbon as is held in the atmosphere, with peat being especially significant,’ she said. ‘Taking more care of the land around us would have a cost effect on the economy, because it would save us money.’

Industrial Strategy

The Prime Minister received a short tour of the facilities at the National Science and Innovation Campus while launching proposals for building a Modern Industrial Strategy

The Industrial Strategy, the detail of which is expected to come in the 2017 Autumn Statement, is designed to thread together current government and industry investments across research, industry, skills development, energy and infrastructure. It is also expected to include new ambitious plans in areas such as digitisation, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and energy storage, and stitch these together into a single, cogent ‘national strategy’. It has 10 pillars, ranging from investing in science, research and innovation to rebalancing growth across the whole country, by providing development funding for big infrastructure upgrades such as the Midlands Rail hub and Northern Powerhouse Rail. ‘The Industrial Strategy is crucial,’ says Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive Officer

of manufacturers’ organisation EEF. ‘Currently the economy is on an even keel and manufacturing is quite robust. While the sun is shining you fix the roof, and government has seen we have to do it now,’ he emphasises. The strategy is full of good things, of which industrialists across the board, from the silver-haired director to the 20-something design engineer, will approve. Few would argue with its top pillar: investing in research and development (R&D) and developing skills. It says skills shortfalls in some parts of the country contribute to imbalances in productivity in the UK, as shown in a recent Confederation of British Industry (CBI) report, highlighting education and skills as the biggest determinants of regional variations in REVIEW OF THE YEAR

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Review of the Year productivity. It pushes for more and better technical training. In the Budget the Government announced new money for technical education to fund the new T-Level qualification for technical education. The Government said it was ‘the most ambitious post-16 education reforms since the introduction of A-levels’.

Scuoler says of the Industrial Strategy ‘Politicians are becoming more aligned with industry and its needs. Catapults are being seen as valuable and effective. They are reaching more SMEs, and while they can never reach them all, there innovation ecosystem that Catapults and InnovateUK represent are helping SME not only big companies.’

Jobs, pay, work and pensions EEF’s annual Manufacturing Fact Card shows that pay within the sector continues to outpace services and the whole economy average, being up 1.9% (2015 vs 2014) or 3% compared to 2013. Average pay in the manufacturing sector in 2016/17 is £31,489, in services it is £26,825, and £27,607 is the average for the whole economy. Unite, Britain’s largest manufacturing union, says that employees in the private sector over the last two years have suffered the same downward pressures on pay as experienced by those in public services such as the NhS, where the majority of health staff have seen their pay in real terms eroded by 17% since 2010. Cases such as the recent multi-year pay deal on behalf of over 2,000 workers employed at luxury carmaker Bentley are the exception rather than the norm. Weak demand in the economy is not helped by below inflation pay deals – or no rise at all – as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation stands at 2.6% (July 2017). Wages are badly lagging behind inflation, Unite says, while Stock Exchange performance, at recent record highs, suggests big companies have the necessary cash reserves. however, the majority of private sector jobs come from small and medium-

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sized enterprises (SMEs). The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)says 60% of all private sector employment in the UK is from SMEs and in manufacturing it is thought to be much higher. The state pension age was due to increase to 68 between 2044 and 2046. Under the new proposals that have to be agreed by parliament, this will move forward to 2037 to 2039. The Government did not include this proposal in its General Election manifesto. Unite claimed the increase in the retirement age meant that workers would be paying for failed economic policy under the Conservative Government. It says raising the state pension retirement age to 68 between 2037 to 2039 will be detrimental to workers, especially if they have a physically demanding job or are suffering from ill-health, and they called for this proposal to be reversed. Unite Assistant General Secretary for Manufacturing, Tony Burke, said ‘Brexit dominates economic and fiscal policy. ‘As a union, we are seeking a “Jobs First” Brexit where every aspect of the negotiations is set against whether this will create secure and well-paid employment in a country with a strong industrial base. To this end, we are calling on Business Secretary, Greg Clark, to put flesh on the bones of the Government’s industrial strategy.’

Unite the union argues that private sector pay for the majority of employees in manufacturing has steadily eroded


Glanbia Cheese

Glanbia Cheese mozzarella, stretching targets for growth


ou probably take it for granted that all mozzarella cheese comes from Italy – but you would be wrong. Europe’s leading mozzarella cheese producer is actually British, is based in Northwich in Cheshire and has two manufacturing sites, one in Llangefni, North Wales and one in Magheralin in Northern Ireland. The two manufacturing sites use around two million litres of milk per day, creating a route to market for 20% of the milk that is produced in both Wales and Northern Ireland. With almost 90% of mozzarella cheese used on pizza, they sell to most major pizza brands (both foodservice and boxed retail) across Europe, feeding millions of consumers every week.

Paul Vernon, CEO, at the cutting edge of the pizza industry since the 1990s

FACTS ABOUT Glanbia Cheese »» UK’s export success story, accounting for one third of total UK cheese exports »» 360 employees across Northern Ireland, Wales and Cheshire

Company history

»» Each site processes about one million litres of milk every day

Both manufacturing sites were built in the 1940s to meet Britain’s demand for butters and powdered milk. By the 1950s they had converted to cheddar cheese manufacturing. In the early 1980s both sites started the production of mozzarella cheese, to service the new and growing pizza market. In the 1990s the sites converted to manufacturing only mozzarella cheese and this coincided with Paul Vernon joining the business as CEO.

»» Buys milk directly and indirectly from 750 farms, providing thousands of muchneeded rural jobs

2000 saw a significant change for the business. At this stage the total business output was about 40,000 tonnes and turnover was £69 million. Leprino Foods Company, based in Denver, USA and the world’s largest mozzarella cheese producer, then became co-owner of the business (along with existing owner Glanbia PLC based in Kilkenny, Ireland). The shareholders injected both capital and

»» Annually provides the cheese for approximately 540 million pizzas, feeding over 10 million consumers every week.


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Highlighting best practice 90,000 80 80,000 70,000

17 Year Success Story

60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

Annual volume of mozzarella produced (t)

Today winning in business is about delivering on customer requirements before they realise they have the need

Mozzarella strings. Added into the crusts these make consumers happier, more loyal and deliver enjoyment to the very last mouthful

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patented and proprietary technology into the manufacturing sites. Effectively, both sites were re-built from the inside, with on-going capital reinvestment that continues to this day. From then until now mozzarella cheese output has more than doubled to more than 82,000 tonnes and turnover has increased to £190 million.

Export strategy Overall, the UK has a dairy trade deficit of £1 billion, however Glanbia Cheese is one of the few UK dairy exporters bucking this trend; its exports account for about one third of all UK cheese exports. Exports to EU27 account for approximately 40% of sales, servicing

major pizza brands across Europe, where pizza consumption continues to grow strongly. Outside Europe, export markets are as diverse as Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Jamaica and Hong Kong. World class products, competitively priced, fantastic service and strong ethics are four of the key values that underpin how Glanbia Cheese operate both in the UK and in export market, offering customers access to the Glanbia Cheese brand or specialised cheese products. The route to market very much depends on local complexities, so a range of export approaches are flexed depending on local requirements including ex-factory, transport to European depots, selling through local sales agents, or selling though export trading houses. In other words, there is a wide range of options depending on geographic and customer requirements. Glanbia Cheese has consciously focused on the world beaters; the top brands in each market. By aligning with the sectors and the brands that out-perform in their respective market, they have in turn been able to outpace the UK dairy industry performance in both domestic and export markets. Ribbon (block). Converted either by boxed pizza manufacturers or retail shredders, this helps feed millions of families across Europe every week


Innovation and tailoring One of the secrets to mozzarella is that not all mozzarella is the same. There are some major differences in how the cheese is grated, cooked and what consumers expect when they bite into their pizza. To meet these requirements Glanbia Cheese can control every part of the cheesemaking process to offer a consistent, sustainable and bespoke cheese. Put simply, this ability to tailor in a way that no other European competitor can allows Glanbia Cheese and its customers to win together.

The second largest format is ribbon (also known as block or loaf). This cheese is needed by the boxed pizza producer and the businesses that shred into smaller retail packs. With a worldclass supply chain network, they are able to deliver to any part of Europe in just a few days ensuring optimal shred and maximising shelf life of the final pizza. One of the fastest-growing parts of the business is string cheese, developed to make stuffed crust pizza. A relatively recent innovation within Europe, this is now shipped either as just mozzarella, or with a wide range of seasonings, partner cheese blends or herbs.

Across Europe there is a huge array of consumer tastes and stuffed crust allows pizza operators to meet local tastes, customise and generate interest amongst consumers hungry for new news. Recent years have seen launches across Europe including garlic, bacon, various cheese flavours as well as tried-andtested mozzarella cheese.

The story does not end with the supply of the cheese. A team of highly-trained product development and marketing experts work with key customers to help create new products, assist with promotions and drive pizza sales. Branded as the Innovation Kitchen, this has proved to be one of their unique selling points.

Recognition The greatest recognition is when both customers and consumers are satisfied. Recognition as being best in class is always enjoyable and Glanbia Cheese are more than happy that their trophy cabinet is heaving with a wide range of awards from their major customers, for categories including Supplier of the Year, Partner of the Year and Number One for Relationship; it can be seen why they are going from strength to strength.

We invest in long-term partnerships with businesses we believe in; over time this means we win together and are better placed to make sure they exceed their future growth plans

They can offer mozzarella cheese in three formats. The largest part of the business is the creation of shreds and dices predominantly for the growing food service industry. Quick service restaurants create, cook and sell pizza at a phenomenal rate. They need absolute confidence that every bag of cheese is delivered in optimal condition every single time. Glanbia Cheese obsess about every part of the cheese making, shredding, packaging and transportation process, to ensure that the end consumer has a consistently mouth-watering experience.

A wide range of shreds, dices and cheese makes ensuring unsurpassed solutions to cooking needs, texture requirements, visual demands and budget constraints


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Award-winning Chinese dumplings Jian Lan, business founder and Director

FACTS ABOUT FRESHASIA »» Launched in 2009 »» Showing consistent growth of 20% year on year »» 70 staff from multicultural backgrounds »» Owns 70% of the frozen Chinese dumpling market in the UK »» Wholesale more than 200 products »» Distributed to more than 14 European countries and served to more than 600 customers »» Double A British Retail Consortium (BRC) supplier two years in a row »» Great Taste Awards winner since 2013 »» Shortlisted for 2016 Food Manufacturer Excellence Award as the first frozen Chinese food business

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e are a Chinese frozen food business, established in 2009 and located in South East London whose brands focus on traditional Chinese foods such as dumplings and sliced meat. The vision was to create the besttasting dumplings by combining the finest ingredients with first class innovation and a traditional recipe. By addressing a gap in the market, we sought to offer a real difference and provide a choice to liven up dull dinners and save the cost of going to a Chinese restaurant.

History and overview Jian Lan, the founder of the enterprise, spotted the potential business opportunity for authentic Chinese food thanks to the increasing number of Chinese students, greater demand from local people and the tremendous impact of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Then he set up FRESHASIA food. After one year’s endeavour and hundreds of trials the first batch of dumplings was launched in 2009. The current annual turnover is around £8.7 million. There are 15 people in the core management team in addition to 55 production line workers. After all these years, we own more than 70% of the frozen Chinese dumplings’ market in the UK. We also wholesale more than 200 products to satisfy customers’ requirement. As the dictum goes, Taste is an acquired education, experience and a life well-travelled. The success of the authentic Chinese dumplings and sliced meat is mainly due to premier food quality, precise marketing positioning and giving excellent customer service.


According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the number of student enrolments from China and Hong Kong has been much greater than from any other countries, with roughly 100,000 students per year since 2011. Therefore, this group became the main consumers of the dumplings and sliced meat. New media platforms, such as Wechat, Facebook, Instagram, etc, built up strong connections between the student’s associations of evry university. In 2016, our marketing team conducted around 300 demonstrations across the UK and the EU to invite customers to taste free dumplings during the weekends. At the same time, FRESHASIA was continuously integrating with local cultural and dietary habits. Last summer, a novel concept of having traditional Chinese dumplings with coffee was launched to break down the boundary between Chinese and Western customers. Customers are longing for something novel and exciting to eat with great taste and nutrition. With two depots in the UK and Germany and an integrated logistic system, the products could be distributed to more than 14 European countries and more than 600 customers could be served.

Authentic product and premium quality

traditional Chinese recipe. We insist on using only fresh materials grown and raised in the EU to ensure we are supporting responsible, sustainable farming and can guarantee full traceability. FRESHASIA was one of the first brands to make authenticity and provenance a key point of importance, and this remains integral to the company today.

For example, every single portion of the dumplings of FRESHASIA are handmade in a unique style. The chilli paste used for Hot and Spicy pork flavour dumplings comes from a Sichuan recipe. In 2013, the Pork and Chinese Leaf dumplings received the British Pig Executive pork product Gold Metal in the Best Innovation Pork Product Category. Then, starting from 2013, we received more than 20 stars from the Great Taste Awards, which built up our confidence about the product quality and our future. Meanwhile, we could sense the inclusiveness and diversity of the whole food industry. The opinion of the judges we received about our product shows that an increasing number of British people are starting to accept traditional Chinese food and are ready to purchase and enjoy it at home. We feel that we are fully ready to present our products via mainstream retailers in the near future.

The success of the authentic Chinese dumplings and sliced meat is mainly due to premier food quality, precise marketing positioning and giving excellent customer service

Marketing orientation and customer service

Authentic hand-made Chinese dumplings

In China, people usually have dumplings during festivals. Dumplings are meat, vegetables, herbs and spices wrapped in a small dough sheet and are associated with family reunions and happy times together. That tradition and philosophy still continues. From the start, FRESHASIA marketed themselves as premium, authentic Chinese dumplings, full of goodness, made in the UK using British and EU materials to a FRESHASIA

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Highlighting best practice

Chinese dumplings with caviar a starter

Our long-term plan is to be one of Europe’s largest food manufacturers specialising in oriental food. We are planning to establish a restaurant chain, offering a direct food service to consumers with our topquality products on the menu

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Sliced meat for Chinese hot pot

FRESHASIA never compromises on quality or production procedures, with a competent and professional team overseeing every batch of products from start to finish. The senior management board of FRESHASIA has shown its full commitment to quality by achieving the highest grade of BRC Global Standard two years in a row. Last year, we were the first Chinese food business shortlisted for the Food Manufacturer Excellence Award as the Frozen Manufacturing Company of the Year. This nomination is the food industry ‘Oscar’ and put us on solid ground for our future development.

Opportunity and challenge After the Brexit referendum, the UK manufacturing industry faces an unprecedented threat. FRESHASIA, which employs 70 staff from multicultural backgrounds, will be significantly impacted by the everincreasing tightening up policy for all non-UK nationals. Sourcing the fresh and premium raw material will also become more challenging. Undoubtedly, all these questions will influence the food industry and the British economy significantly. After the visit of President Xi, a golden future for UK-China bilateral trading

era is coming, which may stimulate the market and bring more opportunities. FRESHASIA could play an ambassador role to enhance the networking between the two countries by introducing British foods to China and simultaneously creating more business opportunities for local business.

Looking ahead We believe Britain is the best country in the world for the dynamism of its food industry and its creative concepts. Our innovative product design and food safety and quality management will be tighter as well as diverse: our product range will include monosodium glutamate-free or gluten free products to be in line with consumers’ preferences. When our new factory opens in Norwich, all production lines will be upgraded to a higher level providing more flavoursome and easy to cook products. Our long-term plan is to be one of Europe’s largest food manufacturers specialising in oriental food. We are planning to establish a restaurant chain, offering a direct food service to consumers with our topquality products on the menu. After all, we really want consumers to go to the Chinese restaurant — our Chinese restaurant.




iddylicious, which began in a dining room in Ealing, West London, in 2002, is now a global, award-winning, tasty snacks and meals brand for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. It is sold in every major UK supermarket and worldwide in over 26 countries. Two Kiddylicious snacks are enjoyed every second around the world.

Half of the 2016 growth in the UK Baby Snack market was driven by Sally Preston’s Kiddylicious

KEY FACTS ABOUT Kiddylicious »» Founded in 2009 »» Sales doubled in the past year

Kiddylicious, which is now based in Amersham, Bucks, was founded by entrepreneurial Mum of two, Sally Preston, and has grown by 75% annually being the fastest-growing brand in the baby food market. Sally previously worked at M&S as a food scientist for 11 years and has a wide knowledge of the food industry, and more relevantly, knows the vital role that snacks play in a child’s early development. Sally is passionate in her vision that great tasting and nutritious food is the key to developing and educating young palates and that by giving a wide variety of tastes and textures from a young age children can develop a positive attitude to food for life. The team at Kiddylicious ensures such foods hit the supermarket shelves time and time again. The UK Baby Snack Market grew by over 13% in 2016 and nearly half of that sector growth was driven by Kiddylicious whose sales increased by £3.5 million. Kiddylicious’ market share is now 20% with an ambition of 25% by the end of the year. Profits are expected to rise by 170% in 2017 to a healthy earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBIDTA) position, and the forecasted brand value is £23 million. Meals as well as snacks – Kiddylicious hopes to excite the market with the recent announcement of our brand new range of perfectly balanced ‘meals’ for babies, sold in transparent pouches.

»» Products sold in all major UK retailers »» £23 million brand value forecast for 2017 »» Innovation and speed to market are the key to growth »» Multi award-winning brand »» Kiddylicious market share 20% »» Sub-brand Little Bistro launched in June 2017 »» Sunday Times 100 fastest growing exporter SME community »» IGD ‘Outstanding Small Business’. »» World first allergen-free children’s snacks – Oaty Bars – launched 2017


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Highlighting best practice

We expect the Little Bistro launch in 2017 to shake up the market as consumers are finally offered perfectly balanced, healthy convenience meals which busy parents can trust

Premium packaging across the new Little Bistro range will help break up UK baby aisles.

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The highly innovative new Little Bistro range of 20 different meals (in four stages from four months through to 12 months+) challenges current claims made by other brands that the baby food currently available in the market is ‘delicious and nutritious’. The Little Bistro range is a cut above the rest because the meals are cooked by the casserole method and are carefully balanced with babies’ development at the heart of their design. Little Bistro pouches have been cleverly designed with no spouts, so the large soft lumps of real meat and vegetables can encourage chewing at a critical development stage of seven months. These essential natural foods contain iron and protein for optimum growth, and consideration has been given to achieve neutral acidity to prevent dental caries. These dental issues have been associated with other baby food brands which have very high acidity.

Kiddylicious: ‘We aim to be a true differentiator’ Delicious – Amazing taste is at the heart of Kiddylicious. We take the finest ingredients, transform them into delicious foods bursting waith different flavours, shapes and textures. Our recipes contain nothing unnecessary; we scrutinise every ingredient to check it needs to be there and adds value. The result is that parents can be

confident and guilt-free when feeding their children and kids can enjoy them thinking they are a treat – the perfect win:win scenario. Trustworthy – Research shows that the food that babies eat in the first two years affects their health and well-being throughout their life. It is essential they eat a wide variety of different foods to educate their tiny taste buds. Clearly-labelled ingredients lists with clear guidance on allergens is part of the winning formula – parents want to know everything about the food they are feeding their children Handy snacks – Our snacks are ideal for going out and about, keeping toddlers topped up between meals; this is essential because little stomachs cannot hold enough food/energy from the conventional three meals a day – they need to refuel mid-morning or mid-afternoon. At Kiddylicious we understand this and our snacks are an ideal rebooster! Our mums say our snacks are ‘life-savers’. Our new Little Bistro meal pouches will also help Mums and Dads achieve those three healthy meals a day. Helpful, clear and honest – Kiddylicious products are clearly labelled with regard to allergens, with many being suitable for coeliacs, dairy, gluten and egg intolerant, and they are also suitable for vegetarian children. We understand parents of children with allergies want

FOOD & DRINK their children to be ‘included’ when eating snacks amongst groups of friends. Kiddylicious has just launched a world first range of allergen-free Oaty Bars to be enjoyed by everyone. Kiddylicious was the first brand to introduce portion-controlled bags to help address the obesity crisis in the UK and globally. Both portion size and labelling have been fundamental to everything Kiddylicious creates, and this in turn, helps educate children about healthier choices.


A revolution, since 200,000 Wafers are now consumed every day!

Sally lets her customers decide

Further innovation came in 2016 with the introduction of Veggie Straws. Made from tomato, kale and spinach, Veggie Straws help children explore colour, texture and practice their pincer finger grip too. Veggie Straws are outselling all other new products in the category with a staggering 9,500 bags a day. Global – Kiddylicious is also a fastgrowing international business in the worldwide baby market across 26 countries including China, Norway, Australia and the Middle East. We forecast an international brand value of £4 million in 2017 growing at more than 30% (an impressive 10 million snacking occasions globally). The highly-motivated fast-moving team can turn around new concepts, products, languages and artwork at a very fast pace to meet international opportunities that constantly arise. In February 2017, Kiddylicious was recognised as the only food brand in the Sunday Times top 100 fastest growing export SME community and won the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) Outstanding Small Business.

Did you know two bags of Kiddylicious snacks are enjoyed every second with over four million bags being eaten every month globally?

Our products are truly innovative. We search the world for new trends, exciting products, and better flavours. Kiddylicious was the first brand to introduce pure fruit snacks into the baby category while maintaining the great taste. We have revolutionised the traditional sugary rusk market with the introduction of award-winning melt-in-the-mouth rice Wafers in 2015. Our wafers won British Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE) 2016 Product of the Year Award in the Baby Food Category . They have been solely responsible for reversing the declining rusk category, increasing growth by 29%, helping Kiddylicious take the number two spot in infant snacking, overtaking Heinz in July 2016.


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Highlighting best practice

Simtom Food Products

The Board

40th birthday range of pickles and chutneys

FACTS ABOUT SIMTOM FOOD PRODUCTS »» Simtom is based in Desford, Leicestershire »» Founded in 1977 »» Exports to over 30 countries »» £15 million turnover »» Innovative manufacturer »» Over 100 staff


imtom Food Products is a typical rags to riches story. Its origins lie in the eviction of the entire ethnic Asian community from Tanzania in the early 70s. Scores of Asians who were uprooted overnight fled to the UK, took up residence and started new businesses with the little money they had brought with them. The Chandarana family were numbered amongst the fleeing Asian diaspora. The survival and subsequent growth of the new company is down to the sheer determination and entrepreneurship of its founder, Jai Chandarana. The family business was conceived in 1977 in a small kitchen in Leicester, where the family lived. Jai Chandarana and his family would roll up their sleeves and get on with the task of filling Indian pickles and chutneys on the kitchen table into glass jars, ready to be delivered very early the next morning. As demand for the Indian products grew, the decision was made to take the burgeoning business, expanded via premises in Leicester and Loughborough, to a state-of-the-art automated factory unit in Desford, Leicestershire. The family involvement is still as strong as it ever was and now boasts a secondgeneration leadership, with Bhavin Chandarana (Jai Chandarana’s son) taking over as Managing Director and Jyoti Chandarana as Operations Director. Jai is now the company Chairman and heads up the management team, which has been joined by the Finance Director, Andrew Davies. From a £1.2 million turnover in the early 90s the business has grown to an annual turnover of over £15 million with a staff of 70 and growing.

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FOOD & DRINK This year marks the company’s 40th anniversary celebrations and key marketing and customer-focused events have been organised to reflect this landmark event in the life of Simtom Food Products Ltd.

Operating sites The manufacturing site at Merry Lees Industrial Estate, Desford has 40,000 sq ft of automated production, processing, cooking and bottling facilities. In addition to the manufacturing facility, the storage and packing is undertaken at Simtom’s logistics hub based at Wymeswold near Loughborough.

Innovation and new product development From those early days of producing a modest portfolio of products, the range has grown considerably. It now covers over sixty ethnic Indian pickles, chutneys, cooking sauces and pastes, two Thai products, three Mexican products, three Italian products and eighty products for catering outlets under the newly registered Simtom Chef’s Speciality brand. This new line of highly nutritious and healthy eating food is aimed at the diet-conscious catering industry and especially schools, where there’s a great need to provide healthy eating foods. The range also takes in many traditional English favourites like Hunters Chicken, Sausage Casserole and Ploughman’s Chutney.

Cooking vessel at Desford

Continuous improvement is ingrained in the culture. Regular inspections have given Simtom Food Products a Grade A score and the company is very proud to be at the forefront of good, clean, manufacturing processes that are second to none. Historical range of products

Quality and manufacturing Delivering a quality product at the right price has been the obsession of the company from day one. Nothing has been spared to achieve this goal and all the appropriate UK manufacturing standards have been put in place, such as British Retail Consortium (BRC) International Global Standard. SIMTOM FOOD PRODUCTS

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Highlighting best practice and recreate an authentic Indian flavour in a matter of minutes. The latest brand to be registered is Simtom Chef’s Speciality.

Awards and accolades Simtom Foods have been nationally recognised, picking up several Great Taste Awards (some with a three star qualification). Jai Chandarana was also recognised as the Leicester Asian Businessman of the year in 2003.

Marketing Getting the message out is crucial for any business and Simtom have invested in the development of a new website to coincide with the 40th year anniversary.

Production facility at Desford

The production team at Simtom has gone to great lengths to ensure that all products, whether branded or own label, should comply with health and safety standards and that the products are adjusted to UK tastes where appropriate. This is evident in the development of such food stuffs as Korma, Tikka, Jalfrezi and Dopiaza cooking sauces, adjusted to suit the UK palate.

40 years of development have got us where we are today

The introduction of Vacuum Steam Injection Technology is part of the new manufacturing plant and has been developed to produce chutneys in 2.3 tonne batches, maintaining quality and product consistency.

Brands Although Simton is the recognised operating brand, the original name was Timtom and the two brands run simultaneously.

During the early 2000s the introduction of the Restaurant Style brand saw the company break into the catering industry where Simtom foods were able to grow the retail offering aimed at chefs and to encourage the general public to take home a bottle of a restaurant-style sauce or paste

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During the past few years investment has been made in niche TV advertising (ethnic channels) and ethnic newspapers.

Export Simtom foods are now exported to over 30 countries worldwide from English chutneys to Australia to Mexican chilli and enchilada sauces to the USA.

Get it right first time! Jai pioneered a right first time mentality in all the production and administration teams which has been the foundation of good customer service and sound business practice.

The future Entry into the food service market is another sector that Simtom is keen to develop and plans are afoot to implement a strategy for this market. Simtom plans to upgrade its manufacturing capacity with a new, all-purpose production facility on a green-field site within the next five years.


KTC Edibles

Essential ingredients Since 1972


TC Edibles is the leading manufacturer of edible oils in the UK and has forged a unique specialisation in world foods over the last 45 years. KTC boasts an unprecedented position in the grocery trade across a number of categories; supplying multiple supermarkets, independents, food service and manufacturing sectors. KTC has an enviable manufacturing base, superb supply lines and strong, iconic brands that enable the company to lead the market. Company history KTC Edibles started in 1972 as a family concern, founded by Jernail Singh, following years of military service in the British Army which had taken him around the globe. With his sons, Santokh and Jindy, who joined after graduating from university, the business started out in a small grocery store in the West Midlands supplying products to the UK’s growing Asian population. KTC has played a major part in developing the UK’s passion for world foods, constantly striving to supply top-quality products at affordable prices. In 1972 Jindy Khera remembers spaghetti bolognese as being the height of culinary daring. Now some 45 years on, Britain has become a world food culinary centre largely due to the accessibility of authentic food products from around the world from pioneers such as KTC. Today KTC is a real success story employing well over 300 people in two custombuilt sites in the West Midlands and a major new manufacturing plant in Liverpool. The flagship KTC brand is a major world food brand appealing to Asians and British Asian food lovers alike.

Jindy Khera, Managing Director

FACTS ABOUT KTC Edibles »» 45 years in food manufacturing »» Turnover of £233 million; 300 employees across three manufacturing sites »» British Retail Consortium (BRC), Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and Soil Association accredited »» Supplies to UK retail / foodservice annually more than 50 million tins of tomatoes and pulses; more than 200,000 tonnes of edible oils; 3000 tonnes of dals and lentils »» Driven by innovation »» Exporting to 51 countries worldwide »» Integrated supply chain »» KTC EDIBLES

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KTC has played a major part in developing the UK’s passion for world foods, constantly striving to supply topquality products at affordable prices

The company also has two sister brands: Sea Isle offering a range of Caribbean foods and the drinks brand Suncrest, both helping the company expand into different areas. This has meant the company has had to stay agile and evolve rapidly to make sure it is always able to offer consistency, quality and service across the board.

Growth in a competitive market A generation on, KTC has built a vast business empire that operates globally, supplying 250 million litres of oil annually and over 300 food products including pulses, tomatoes, spices, lentils, gram flour

and seasonings. Naturally the trading position today is very different to that of the 1970s. As competition is fierce, KTC now operates not only in niche markets but across the mainstream too. There are now a plethora of cheap imports saturating the market with ‘me-too’ products, meaning KTC has had to be ready to forecast, and to react to, key market trends. Over the last decade KTC has rationalised its offering to ensure it focuses on providing a selected range of quality products at the right price, whilst maintaining exceptional service levels.

Investing in change The last decade has seen major challenges as a result of the credit crunch. The business has had to adapt to soaring commodity prices; minimum wage increases; tougher lending conditions; rising energy costs; a glut of cheaper imports as well as business and consumer uncertainty. KTC has tackled the issues head on, being proactive about embracing change to help it stay ahead of the pack. The business has invested heavily in technology in order to drive efficiency and maintain service, quality and prices.

Building the KTC brand The business has always recognised that its flagship KTC brand is allimportant and never more so with the influx of cheap imports. The brand is all about trust and continuity. KTC is a unique brand in that it operates across many market sectors from manufacturing to consumers as well as being a major player on the global stage, exporting to 51 countries. KTC is a household name in Asian households in the UK and has always been eager to promote the brand through highly-creative marketing.

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FOOD & DRINK We use TV, outdoor, PR, social media and online campaigns to engage consumers. KTC’s marketing campaigns have to resonate across the board as mainstream households tap into the quality staples the brand offers. Quite simply, KTC Makes Delicious Cost Less.

Made in the UK KTC sees quality assurance as the key to everything the company does. This is why a strategic investment programme has been implemented in the UK to ensure the brand has stability and checks and balances are in place. This gives customers a guarantee of consistency, quality and service. Having custom-built sites in the UK means KTC is in control of all elements of the business. Moving overseas may mean companies can cut costs but they can also lose control.

KTC is still a privately-owned UK business that is proud of its family history. Being in Britain and investing in continued growth is seen as pivotal to our continued success.

KTC cares KTC has always believed that a brand can’t operate in isolation and that it is essential to give something back. Jindy Khera is still Managing Director

today and remembers the struggles of his early days in the UK and how important education is for helping people to seize opportunities. Jindy consistently finds time to contribute to the community as a former Board Member of Birmingham and Solihull Learning and Skills Council and as a successful Chairman of Walsall Primary Care Trust. He has also raised over £50K for UK Charities by running four successive London marathons as well as contributing to National Charities. This ethos is strongly entrenched in the company and with the younger generations coming through.

KTC has built a vast business empire that operates globally, supplying 250 million litres of oil annually and over 300 food products

From the outset KTC has invested in manufacturing its own packaging requirements. At our Liverpool site, we produce more than 10 million units of packaging in 20 litre formats. The packaging mainly consists of tin drums and polymer bottles. The vast investment KTC has made into its production facility and workforce has enabled the company to be in full control of its supply chain and to be the first choice to foodservice and wholesalers for catering oil.


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Highlighting best practice

Friars Pride

Friars Pride dual compartment delivery vehicle The Directors of Friars Pride eating fish & chips: Vince Willows, Rebecca Lord, Louise Marshall, Nigel Swepson, David Briggs

FACTS ABOUT FRIARS PRIDE »» Managing Director: Rebecca Lord »» Over 2,500 products »» Turnover 2016/17 – £51.3 million »» 172 employees »» Seven sales and distribution depots – Peterborough, Nottingham, Norwich, Basildon, Poole, Plymouth and Swindon


e are a forward-thinking family-owned company based in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire supplying fish and chip shops, caterers and bakers from the Humber to Land’s End. As leading distributors to our market, we supply an extensive range of frying oils and fats, frozen-at-sea-fish, frozen goods and ambient products. We have real passion for our industry, taking pride in offering our customers excellent service. To keep ahead, we constantly invest in our company, our people, our brands, and product innovation. Over the past four years we have shown significant growth through both acquisition and organic sales. Systems and accreditations As Friars Pride has grown we have introduced new computer systems, professional management, HR processes, environmental policies and industry quality audits such as British Retail Consortium (BRC). We have managed to do this without losing our culture and customer care. Quality Standards achieved: »» Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

»» 58 Specialist HGV dual compartment delivery vehicles, carrying both frozen and dried goods

»» Round table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

»» Market to 6,500 businesses

»» Member of Frozen At Sea Fillets Association (FASFA).

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»» European standard for collecting waste oil ( »» Gained AA+ British Retail Consortium (BRC) accreditation for our oil packing facility »» Member of National Edible Oils Distributors Association (NEODA)


Acquisition Over four years we have increased our turnover by 48%. We have been proactive at seeking the right acquisitions for geographical growth, which have secured new distribution depots in strategic locations in the South West. There has been significant capital investment at the new sites in infrastructure, delivery vehicles and bulk frozen storage. Over the next two years we plan capital investment in excess of £1 million for the new sites. Organic growth Through investment in the largest field sales and telesales teams in our sector, organic growth has been achieved by knowing our customers and meeting their needs with the right products and service.

Product innovation We have an extensive product portfolio and are proactive at bringing new products and innovations to the market. Examples include: »» FriWite vegetable frying fat is produced with the highest-quality

RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil, giving customers a longer frying life and the reassurance of protecting the environment. »» Liquid rapeseed oil /groundnut oil packed in returnable plastic drums utilises our bespoke AA+ BRCaccredited cleaning and oil packing facility. This reduces waste and packaging costs through recycling and minimising impact on the environment.

Fish, chips & mushy peas. Served in a dual compartment box

»» Hook & Fish packaging provides independent shops with a range of quality printed products from trays, boxes, bags, and greaseproof to give a modern image for fish and chips. The formed corrugated printed tray provides a more environmentallyfriendly product at an affordable price. In the face of rising raw material costs we are constantly looking for new ways to improve presentation and control portion sizes.

»» Skinless boneless tighter graded frozen at sea cod fillets provide the highest quality in portion sizes without the worry of bones.

48% increase in turnover over the last four years

Strategic Growth

»» 42nd Street Classic sausages have a higher pork content and unique flavour profile. Hook & Fish packaging range


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Industry challenges

The new Rammi Solberg fishing vessel

» F I S H A N D F A C T S


»» Majority small familyowned shops »» Approximately 11,500 shops in UK »» 95% of cod used in shops is frozen at sea »» Approximately 5% of the cod eaten in the UK is from the North Sea

Friendly yet hardworking culture, more than just a job

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Growth of frozen at sea fish fillets Our sales of frozen at sea cod and haddock have grown significantly due to sales focus, and building direct partnerships with fishing trawlers. Friars Pride has six direct partners: Icelandic Rammi, Icelandic Brim, Royal Greenland, Faroese Gadus, Russian Atlantika, and Norwegian Leinebris Line-Caught. Both Friars Pride and our fishing partners are audited by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) which ensures the cod and haddock is sustainable. Frozen at sea fillets are fantastic quality, caught by large fishing trawlers with on-board factories, processing and freezing fillets in less than five hours of being caught. The freshness is sealed inside the fillets, ensuring they are ‘fresher than fresh’. Our main partner Rammi has recently invested £34m building a new fishing vessel called the Solberg. On-board there is industry-leading technology that will cut large cod into tighter graded portion sizes. These new cut fillets, branded Ocean Reserve, have recently become available and are exclusive to Friars Pride’s customers within our delivery area.

Following Brexit, the industry is facing challenges with significant inflationary price increases. Many products we purchase are linked to commodity markets and are imported, resulting in significant price increases following the weakening of sterling. Main categories affected are frying oils and fats and frozen at sea fish fillets. Rapeseed oil and palm oil are traded commodities directly linked to the currency markets, and have increased by approximately 12%. The other category affected is frozen at sea cod. It is often misquoted in the press, and not commonly known that 95% of the cod used in fish and chip shops is frozen at sea fillets imported from Iceland, Russia, Norway, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Due to currency and world-wide demand this cod has increased in price as much as 25% on certain sizes. These price increases are significant and fish and chip shops will need to increase their prices and/ or look at their portion sizes to be profitable. We can help by offering product innovations that can aid portion control. Friars Pride will continue to drive our business forwards, we are hoping for a more stable external environment to give confidence to our customers and the fish and chip eating consumers. With roots dating back to 1960 Friars Pride was established by my grandfather, and is still the passion of my father and Chairman, David Briggs, myself, and our dedicated team of directors, managers and staff. We have a unique, friendly, yet hard-working culture in which our successful performers treat their work as more than just a job. I feel Friars Pride’s culture and our people are very important factors in our success and we will work hard to protect this as the company grows.


Punjab Pakora

Our product sampling in new opening store, Aldi, Ayr


s a little boy, I was often found helping my granny in the kitchen where I learned traditional skills and recipes used by my family. At the age of eighteen, I was invited to Dubai by my uncle to work at his Indian restaurant where I honed my culinary skills further. Having gained further experience in the family business, I became the chef to some of the wealthiest sheikhs in Dubai. I then travelled extensively in Europe and the Middle East working in top restaurants, learning and perfecting new cuisines. In 2004, after my wife Vinita and I were married, we decided to move to Scotland where we would start our business.

Spicy Red Chicken Pakora with an Authentic Chilli Dip

FACTS ABOUT PUNJAB PAKORA »» Local, family business »» Based in Ayrshire

In 2007, we opened our own Indian takeaway in Mossblown and two years later bought a fish and chip shop in the centre of Ayr. Vinita worked in Asda, providing her with retail experience that would later prove invaluable in their dealings with major supermarkets.

»» Company run by Kushal Duggal and his wife Vinita with some assistance from their children.

The fish and chip shop operated for four years. During this time, it became evident that there was a demand for authentic Indian snacks. We both felt that Indian food available locally was not authentic and were keen to introduce authentic North Indian, Punjabi recipes. In 2013, Punjab Pakora was born with the production of a limited range of pakoras. Shortly after, we decided to move to a food manufacturing unit in Waggon Road, Ayr and to sell the fish and chip business in order to concentrate on the production of pakoras, with a view to extending their range of authentic Indian snacks. PUNJAB PAKORA

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Pakora sampling in Ayrshire Larder in Westminster

Mixed Pakora platter

The company was established to provide authentic Indian cuisine, snacks, savouries and pakoras to retail customers. The business has gone from strength to strength and has proved to be very successful, allowing us to continually expand and provide employment to the local community. Punjab Pakora pride themselves on being the leading Scottish supplier of authentic Indian pakoras and other snacks. These are handmade using fresh, natural ingredients and which – with the exception of Black Pudding and the Haggis Pakoras – are gluten free.

We are very hands on with the business, working 7 days a week to meet demand. Central to our success is our appreciation of the importance of our staff in achieving our goals of providing high quality, Indian food manufactured to consistent standards in a hygienic and controlled environment to ensure a safe product. Staff are paid a fair wage, are provided with the relevant training required to carry out their duties competently, work in a safe environment ,and are opportunities are provided for those members of staff that show a real commitment.

Our workforce has steadily increased in number following our continued success. The company now employ twenty-five people, and will add twenty to thirty more employees soon. We take immense pride in looking after our workforce which has resulted in a low turnover of staff, many of whom have been with the company since it started.

One distinct feature of the business is healthier options for snacks. We do not use any artificial colours, flavours, additives, preservatives or hydrogenated fats. Our products have been tested and have been given the food green light as an indicator of their healthy quality.

One distinct feature of the business is healthier options for snacks. We do not use any artificial colours, flavours, additives, preservatives or hydrogenated fats

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Having supplied local companies initially, we wanted to work towards providing our products to the major supermarkets. We initially made contact with Asda to ascertain the requirements for supplying products and as a result decided to aim to achieve SALSA certification. The SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Assurance) scheme requires documented procedures and systems to be operational in order to demonstrate a safe manufacturing process.


Our current range of products includes a varieties of chicken pakoras such as spicy and red chicken pakora and traditional chicken pakora; vegetable pakoras; haggis pakoras and black pudding pakoras; onion bhajis; a range of meat and vegetable samosas; meat spring rolls and vegetable spring rolls; and mixed pakora platters, with spiced onions and spicy and mild dips.

It is the vision of Punjab Pakora that we will continue to expand our range of products and customers, enhancing our workforce and so providing more jobs for local people. We are passionate about the food we produce and want to use our years of experience in cooking Punjabi food to provide products that stand out in their authenticity from those currently available on the market. We follow old Indian traditional recipes and adapt them to fit today’s tastes using only the freshest meat, vegetables, herbs and spices. We have just moved into larger premises to produce Punjabi curries under the certification of SALSA. The increased space will give us the capacity to increase the output and develop a broader range of authentic Indian offerings to local, retail and wholesale customers. We also plan to provide curries to catering functions and we have already received enquiries in this area.

We have just moved into larger premises to produce Punjabi curries

Companies are audited on an annual basis to ensure continued compliance and a certificate is re-issued each year. Major supermarkets require this certificate to give them the confidence that the products they buy for resale are manufactured under strict controls to produce a safe product. SALSA certification is only granted to suppliers who can demonstrate to an auditor that they are able to produce safe and legal food and are committed to continually meeting the requirements of the SALSA Standard. We achieved our SALSA certification in 2013. This has given the major supermarkets confidence in our ability to that manufacture to the high standards. We began to supply Asda and Aldi in 2013, Spar in 2015 and Iceland in 2016, and continue to work towards selling to other supermarkets by continually developing and improving our operation.

Punjab Pakora has gone from strength to strength due to our personal commitment to our family, and our constant drive to improve and expand our business – we have worked hard for our success, and hope for even greater things to come in the future.

First photograph in our local newspaper, recognising the importance and value of the contribution our business makes to the local economy

Seasonal products at Christmas and Hogmanay, Samosa and Spring Rolls


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Easytesters’ Head office in Bridgwater, Somerset Mike Bowling, Owner, Easytesters


veryday challenges in the food processing industry require new and innovative techniques to overcome product contamination. With this in mind, Easytesters prides itself on being at the forefront of innovation for this sector by developing and manufacturing test products capable of combating these issues.

FACTS ABOUT EASYTESTERS »» During the first years of the business, Easytesters managed to double turnover and profits due to the ability to operate exclusively in a market not greatly affected by global economic restraints. »» Now licensing our products to global organisations we are able to penetrate a huge marketplace

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Our aim is to invent and manufacture unique equipment that companies can use to start and promote a new business in the service testing industry, anywhere around the world as they all have the same issues of cross contamination. We cover key markets, including liquid food processing, oil and gas, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), water treatment and the medical industry. To my knowledge there are no other companies operating on the same model, giving us a truly unique value proposition. Easytesters have moved into two directions: a big contract service testing heat exchange equipment for a Coca-Cola facility in Central Europe which has ran for the past seven years, and of course, designing and manufacturing test equipment to lease to third parties on an exclusive basis for them to offer service testing without competition. This is the future focus of Easytesters and the one that shoes great potential. While very much a business, and with a premises in Somerset, I don’t actually employ anyone. Instead, I subcontract to the testing business and leasing my test products to large and small companies across the world, who use them to examine their own production facilities or start a service testing company sending qualified technicians to production facilities on a regular basis (normally six monthly) to test and validate plant for the processor.


My background in the field of engineering testing, which I started in at 21 years old, set me on the path to working in ultrasonics in which I’ve been involved for more than 30 years. After qualifying to the highest level of ultrasonics C.S.W.I.P (Certification Scheme For Weldment Inspection Personnel) at TWI Cambridge (The Welding Institute) I started to become wanted by lots of companies around the world as there were a very small number of Inspectors qualified to this standard 3:9 UT (all categories). This encouraged me to start the business of service testing. This testing business became very competitive and therefore I needed to think about producing something new and innovative to launch a business that had real potential and no competition. Vast ranges of ideas were explored, which even included non-related subjects such as early warning device for labour in pregnancy

- sounds strange when I look back! It soon became evident to me that there were many food poisoning cases around the world, some of which could be traced to poor manufacturing practices and the lack of detection methods to control this. For example, there were 321,000 cases of food poisoning in 2008, costing companies £583 million in fees. The Bioscience For The Future (BBSRC) investment is £334 million on research, which would indicate a strong business case for early detection systems.

After a visit to a dairy factory for the first time there were a number of employees spraying chemical dyes onto stainless steel plates in a dairy car park, saying they wished there was an easier way to do this examination, that needed to be done regularly for the processor to prove due diligence. I thought about this problem for three months and developed a system called Testex. The dairy company asked me at this stage to recommend the frequency

Many food poisoning cases around the world… could be traced to poor manufacturing practices and the lack of detection methods

The genesis of Easytesters

Food processing pipe showing bacteria becoming visible with BACTISCAN product


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Software development allowing connection between test system/ tablet/cloud-based monitoring system

I’m an advocate of evolving our offerings. My seventh invention was the QAX. In my opinion, this product will revolutionise the food processing industry

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heat exchangers every six months and the risk of failure between tests is very high. QAX, however, will be online and test the exchanger daily so there is no risk of product cross contamination. This is a unique concept that has only been dreamed about by processors and quality personnel in the food industry. Our eight invention will be called Plate Scanner, which will determine the quality of heat exchanger plates when pressed or removed from service. This went into the prototype stage in early 2017.

that these food heat exchangers should be tested, I recommended 6 monthly (creating the standard) which has become an industry standard globally, this business grew very quickly as no competition for a product that everyone wanted, and having very high profits prompted an offer from a global heat exchanger manufacturing company, who eventually purchased the business, I agreed to non-compete clauses in the sale agreement and therefore had lots of time on my hands to start the development process of new and novel non related ideas for my business. During my break from business I realized that in order to grow the company quickly and without external resource I needed to design, develop and manufacture products that were unique in the business and that I could lease to third parties after training. These lease fees would become my business scope, so the need to keep developing new ideas was very important to this business. To date, seven are on the market and have been used effectively. I’m an advocate of evolving our offerings. My seventh invention was the QAX. In my opinion, this product will revolutionise the food processing industry because, at present, most processors use remote tests to examine

A global future Eventually, I envisage what we do on a more global scale. Right now, my products are used in some countries across Europe, while another one of the equipment is in over 20 countries from UK to New Zealand. In the design phase, the equipment was intentionally made to be portable and easy to transport. This was done as I believe a businessperson could lease the equipment and travel to any country around the world and make a good business. There is also an emphasis on making the detection equipment easy to learn. Typically, technicians I train to use the products will be proficient in them within just a couple of days. With strong demand brought about by having such a unique product offering, my thoughts have inevitably turned to expansion and where next I can take Easytesters. Things have really gathered pace in the past six to seven years with all the new developments; so much so that I’m at the stage now where I really need to outsource some of the business as it’s becoming too big for just one person to manage. One of the avenues I may pursue for Easytesters is seeking out new partners to work with in expanding.


Lyburn Farmhouse Cheesemakers Old Winchester, is a hard 18 month cheese made with a vegetarian rennet

Mike and Judy Smales on cheese duty. Lyburn cheese going to the Munich Embassy for the Queens Birthday


hen the Milk Marketing Board, the Government agency for marketing milk, was finally dissolved in 2002, we were struggling to sell vegetables both to supermarkets and in the wholesale market. It became clear that for smaller players like ourselves to survive, we needed to produce a niche product. This needed to be branded and, as a result, we changed from growing conventional vegetables to growing organic ones, and started to experiment with cheese made with milk from our own cows.


You have to take the long view In 1952, Lord Carnarvon gave my father three cows: Faith, Hope and Beatrix, and he started farming with 50 acres of land. In 1969 the family rented Lyburn Farm in the New Forest on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border which gave us another 270 acres of land and we constructed a dairy unit for 200 cows. The soil type was a medium sandy loam, so there was clearly an opportunity to grow other crops as well and, to cut a long story short, today we have 170 cows, make 70 tonnes of cheese a year, grow about 80 acres of organic vegetables and 30 acres of pumpkins. The family now farm in the region of 500 acres, with a full-time staff of eight and lots of seasonal workers for the vegetable harvest, principally from Romania and Bulgaria.

»» Location: New Forest »» Managing partner: Mike Smales »» Cheeses: Old Winchester and Stoney Cross »» Farm turnover: £1.2 million

Life is full of decisions, and cheese is one of them Hampshire Farmers’ Markets had just started in 1999 and this gave us the confidence that at least we would have somewhere to sell the cheese; LYBURN FARMHOUSE CHEESEMAKERS

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Highlighting best practice without them we may never have survived. Look at the counter in any supermarket, good farm shop or deli and the choice is bewildering, so we had to decide what style of cheese we should make.

A name is everything, and the names Lyburn and Winchester have served us well

We made three decisions; »» We would not make cheddar. The world makes cheddar, so we avoided it. »» Our cheese would not be too ‘niche market’. You need a broad appeal; a really punchy blue cheese is not everyone’s cup of tea. »» We would not age the cheese for too long. Cash is king and you need cash flow. That said, we have now, to a degree, broken this rule. You never get everything right!

So we played around for a while and settled on a Gouda recipe, not a typical Gouda, but it was a starting point. The customers at Winchester Farmers’ Market seemed to like it, so that was good enough for us.

A name is everything Lyburn cows coming in for afternoon milking, 170 them in all

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We needed a brand name and decided it had to be Lyburn. This is


actually a Scottish name and means born by the river. This name is simple, not too long and unique, so it will not get confused with any other name. You only have to type LYBU into a search engine and up we pop. I was told a long time ago that no one ever drank German wine because no one could ever remember the names, let alone pronounce them. So it had to be simple and easy. When we came to naming our ninemonth cheese we chose Winchester as we had started at Winchester Farmers’ Market that seemed to be right. Then when we began to age it to 18 months, it had to be called Old Winchester. The next product was not so easy and for a while the cheese went unnamed. We had lists of names, bits of paper, sat around the table with cups of tea, all to no avail. But there it was, sat right on the doorstep, two miles up the road was the old airfield of the Second World War, Stoney Cross.

Cheese, a partnership between man and beast Our cows are an integral part of the story. We have bred them to produce more fat and protein; at 5am the milk is in the cow and by lunchtime it is cheese. In 2001 we built a new production facility with the help of some grant money and, over the years, we have slowly grown the business, year-on-year to the point where we now make about a ton and a half of cheese a week in seven varieties. Old Winchester has been the star of the show. Being 18 months old these 5 kg wheels are full of flavour, very hard and almost look like Parmesan. Being made with vegetarian rennet, it gives chefs the opportunity to use an English cheese instead of a hard Italian one, and for them it ticks the vegetarian box as well.


The 1kg Stoney Cross ripening on for Christmas

our cheese on all their ships. The Fine Cheese Company in Bath exports the cheese all around the world and we get tweets and e-mails from far-flung places. We get invited to nice events; the ‘Presentation of Christmas Cheese to the Chelsea Pensioners’ was a wonderful experience. To walk into a top restaurant and find our cheese on the menu gives us a sense of satisfaction and achievement.

Making the cheese was the easy bit, selling it was something else

Most of the dairy industry is struggling but we are growing

Marketing has been difficult. It took us about ten years to get established. In the early days no one wanted to know; Hampshire Farmers’ Markets were a life line. Then the brand started to take hold. Waitrose has supported us for about 10 years and P&O use

For most cow keepers 2016 is a year that needs to be forgotten but for us we saw an 8% lift in sales. We have no ambition to take over the world, just produce good wholesome food for which people will pay a fair price, unlike milk!

Marketing has been difficult and it took us ten years to get established

That said, there are plenty of people who just enjoy the cheese with a robust bottle of red wine; the flavour will stay with you all evening. Those little calcium crystals give the cheese character, the nuttiness is a little unusual and those little hints of smoke are just in your imagination. It is not meant to compete with Cheddar, it is an alternative, something different.


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Ford Farm

Ford Form, located on the verdant Ashley Chase Estate in Dorset Mike Pullin, Company Director


ocated in Dorset, Ford Farm on the Ashley Chase Estate has been making award-winning, hand-made cheddars for more than 45 years. Having found exporting opportunities in the USA in more recent times, one of the company directors, Mike Pullin, believes more opportunities await Ford Farm overseas.

FACTS ABOUT FORD FARM »» Founded in 1972 in Dorchester »» Ford Farm makes a number of products, including Cave Aged Cheddar and Dorset Red »» Turnover of around £31 million in 2016/2017 »» Ford Farm’s Cave Aged Cheddar has been awarded Supreme Champion status at the International Cheese Awards »» Exports to the USA, Europe and Asia and has been the recipient of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Export Category on two separate occasions, 2010 and 2014

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Starting out predominantly as a maker of West Country Farmhouse Cheddars, Ford Farm’s product range has grown over time to cater for changing tastes in an evolving market. Around 25 years ago, a great number of UK-made cheddars began to be made by machines, with companies seeking greater efficiencies. At that time, this wasn’t something we would be able to entirely replicate, so a decision was made to invest what we had in improved food standards and hygiene to ensure we met the high criteria imposed by food retailers. We decided that we would continue to make our products by hand, but add value by introducing product innovation into the sector. Around 10 years ago, we decided to create a Cave Aged Cheddar brand and started maturing our traditional farmhouse cheddars in the Wookey Hole Caves, 200 feet underground in Somerset. This idea proved a turning point for the company and created one of our primary brands. The historic Wookey Hole Caves, a major tourist attraction, give our Cave Aged Cheddar a unique identity. Around 250,000 people visit the Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset each year and see the cheese maturing in our dedicated cheese cave as part of the tour. In the past 10 years, overall production of the brand has grown from 60 tonnes to 600 tonnes per annum. The wider cheese industry has become a lot more consolidated in the past 20 years and, while production is still high, there are fewer larger players who dominate the industry. Within this market, Ford Farm remains a specialist cheesemaking business, producing 3,000 tonnes of cheddar domestically on an annual basis.


Exporting to the USA

Exploring other export markets

In the early part of the 21st century, we started our Ford Farm USA division, aimed at exporting cheddar cheeses to the United States. Back in 2000, we were a much smaller company than we are today, with a turnover of just £4 million. Our Coastal Cheddar, a mature cheese product with a sweet taste and crunchy texture, was selected as a product which would offer a point of difference. It was marketed as being direct from a British farm to add value and provenance, as the cheddar cheese market was already quite saturated in the USA at that time so standing out from the crowd was imperative.

Canada and Australia are proving increasingly fertile markets for selling Coastal Cheddar and Cave Aged Cheddar. Some of the factors behind this include their citizen’s affinity to the Commonwealth and the large number of expatriates living in those countries. The Asian markets have also provided opportunity, with younger consumers travelling more and becoming increasingly more informed and willing to explore new tastes. Ford Farm has begun selling in Korea in the past year while surrounding countries, such as Japan, are also showing increasing interest. In Europe, an aim of ours is to sell more products in Germany. A product like Coastal Cheddar would present new options in such a large market comprised of people with similar palates to the British.

Starting out overseas was done in a simplistic fashion, with sales teams knocking on the doors of retailers on the East and West Coast. Over time, this got more organised with the formation of a specialist team in the country. While the Americans make good cheese and lots of it, we saw a market opportunity as nothing was being made there that tasted like Ford Farm products. Over the years the USA division has proved to be a key contributor to our business growth, generating an annual turnover of nearly £12.5 million with sales of around 2,000 tonnes a year.

Over the years, the USA division has proved to be a key contributor to our business growth

Perseverance is key A lot of Ford Farm’s success as an exporter is down to perseverance, offering a good-quality product and accomplishing set goals. Exporting often involves travelling to longdistance locations, a task in itself that can be time consuming and challenging. Another key factor is that, like all good businesses, Ford Farm benefits from good people.

Coastal Cheese – rugged mature cheddar

The cheese production process is performed by hand


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Cave Aged Cheddar matures in Wookey Hole Caves

We’ve designed bespoke products for major retailers including Tesco and Waitrose

Packaging Innovation: Cave Aged Ring

We’ve been able to rely on our teams at home and abroad to further our exports by forming strong relationships with key distribution partners worldwide. In the UK, our network of farming partners are very important, with milk supplied by more than 12 farms.

Skills are an issue Along with exporting overseas, efficiencies will continue to drive what we do albeit not at the expense of our unique selling point of making cheese by hand. One area of concern, however, is finding the right people to work for Ford Farm on our production lines. It has always been difficult to find people attracted to production roles and this will increasingly be the case due to the outcome of the EU referendum vote in June 2016. In such a time of uncertainty, our members of staff from the EU such as Poland, Spain, Portugal and Romania, who have done excellent jobs for us have naturally been concerned. One consequence of the skills problem has been Ford Farm exploring the possibility of automated hand picking robots for tasks such as product waxing, wrapping and labelling. While not an ideal scenario, the rise of automation

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across the manufacturing world is inevitable and the fact that manual roles are difficult to fill could accelerate this.

Continued innovation While the domestic and international infrastructure is ripe for growth, Ford Farm cannot afford to be complacent in continuing with its track record as an innovator. One area in which we are continuously productive is in packaging innovation. We’ve designed bespoke proucts for major retailers including Tesco and Waitrose, and are now one of the leading producers of waxed cheddars in the UK. Before approaching tasks like these, the team has to continually research and review other packaging design innovations in the food market to keep its finger on the pulse. From a food perspective, we work with chefs to select ingredients that will enhance our offering and refine our output. We are conscious we need to be continually open minded to new trends and changing tastes. As consumers become increasingly savvy in their product knowledge, we’ll position ourselves to meet their demands through continued innovation and ensuring a consistent, quality product.


The Handmade Cake Company

Just some of the wide range of handmade cakes


he Handmade Cake Company (HMC) bakes high quality handmade cakes, traybakes, loaf cakes, scones and wrapped slices for coffee shops and restaurants across the UK and internationally. Founded in Maidenhead in 1983, we use kitchen cupboard ingredients and large scale traditional kitchen tools to create authentic cakes that chefs would be proud to call their own… and many do. At a time before coffee shop chains were really established in the UK, our founders started baking cakes from their family kitchen when they couldn’t source any that were of good enough quality to sell in their own coffee shops. The cakes were so good, customers began buying whole cakes from them; the new venture blossomed. The first products were round cakes: the traditional victoria sponge, chocolate cake and carrot cake. Traybakes and scones followed shortly after. Cakes were frozen to preserve their freshness and distributed to fulfil orders. Our ability to create authentic handmade cakes at a price that could be marked up to a profitable level for coffee shop owners was a recipe for success and allowed proprietors to concentrate on running their busy cafes without waking up at 4am to start baking. Our customer base was strong. As well as hundreds of local coffee shops, within a few years we had forged strong relationships within the catering industry, selling pallets of cakes to frozen food wholesalers who distributed to thousands more.

The Handmade Cake Company Directors (from left); Simon Law (Sales Director), Nigel Taylor (Managing Director), Michael Wheeler (Bakery Director)

FACTS ABOUT THE HANDMADE CAKE COMPANY »» Site produces over 25 million portions of cake per year »» 2017 projected revenue of more than £18 million »» 2017 projected sales of gluten free cakes in excess of £3 million »» Winner of 39 Great Taste Awards since 2003 »» BRC ‘AA’ grade – Gold standard in food safety

Today, we are 100% strategically focused on the foodservice market, helping customers grow their businesses by providing expertise and support within the THE HANDMADE CAKE COMPANY

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cake category, leading the way with innovative new products to satisfy the rapidly expanding coffee shop market.

We have never been awarded anything less than ‘A’ grade by the BRC

One of our experienced finishers decorating a Belgian chocolate cake

Outside of wholesale, we have partnered with a number of key customers to develop bespoke products which represent around 15% of our annual turnover.

Setting ourselves apart With increased success came increased competition and the need to further differentiate and set our cakes apart from the norm. In 1997, we began to pre-portion the cakes, something none of our competitors were doing at the time, so that individual pieces could be defrosted as needed, reducing wastage and allowing round cakes to be replenished for a ‘fresher-looking’ cake display.

We were among the first bakeries to demonstrate strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), going beyond standard manufacturing practice to ensure best ethical practice and the highest production quality. We vow only to use free-range eggs, 100% certified sustainable segregated palm oil and never to add artificial colours, preservatives, genetically modified or irradiated ingredients and not to use hydrogenated fats. We were also among the first to gain food safety certification from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Evaluated annually, we have never been awarded anything less than ‘A’ grade. Not only are our operating standards very high but our product standards are too, independently confirmed by 39 Great Taste Awards, nine of which were awarded last year. We’re very proud of our loyal workforce of 180 employees, 45 of whom have been with the company for over 10 years, eight for over 15 years and four for over 20 years and we’ve seen family members join the team as our workforce has grown to keep up with demand.

Genuinely handmade Though the number of cakes we bake has grown, our batch size remains relatively small and we’re careful to stay true to our handmade promise, even designing specific tools to assist the bakers where necessary. We grate our own carrots every morning, add ingredients into the mixers by hand, spread the mixture into tins and handfinish every cake. We have moved from Victorian batch processes to streamlined continuous processes. All of our team leaders are qualified in lean manufacturing and are constantly developing production to drive efficiency. Any automation occurs after the cakes have been made, to improve portioning and packaging accuracies and maximise overall efficiencies.

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Gluten free success

Expanding the market In 2014 we became part of the French premium frozen pâtisserie group Mademoiselle Desserts (MD), producing high-quality frozen desserts from 10 sites across Europe. MD has encouraged our independence, whilst providing us with investment to expand, expertise to maximise our NPD opportunities and new prospects to cross sell appropriate ranges. Alongside our thriving business in the UK, we are extending our reach in Europe and, most recently, Canada and the UAE.

Challenges Our greatest challenges lie in ingredients price increases (some commodity-led and others Brexitinfluenced) and the increasing pressure

Inside the bakery in Maidenhead, Berkshire

from Public Health England to reduce sugar and calories in cakes… which are supposed to be decadent! We are keen to work towards the new guidelines and have introduced new formats with significantly reduced calories, created a new natural sugar loaf as the start of our natural sugar range while reviewing how we can reduce the sugar and calories in our core range without losing the fantastic taste, texture and shelf life of the product.

Onwards and upwards The daytime snacking market is a key sales channel for HMC, of which a significant part is the coffee shop market. Over the past 15 years, this market has exploded with the number of outlets rising from 7,400 to an estimated 24,300 by the end of 2017 and growth is forecasted at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% over the next five years. To be successful within this sector you need to have great core products, a superb NPD team to drive innovation in a market place where 30% of products are rotated seasonally, be competitively priced and offer great service to your customers.

To be successful within this sector you need to have great core products, a superb NPD team... be competitively priced and offer great service to your customers

Recognising the rising trend in gluten free products and not satisfied with the mediocre gluten free cake equivalents on the market, our New Product Development (NPD) team worked tirelessly to launch our first gluten free cakes in 2013. We segregated a part of the bakery in order to license our products with Coeliac UK and, though we were late to market, we had managed to crack the flavour and texture challenges to produce a very successful range of wrapped slices and traybakes to rival our standard range. They were already winning awards. Sales in gluten free were fast outgrowing the facilities and in 2015 Maidenhead’s local MP, Theresa May, opened our newlyexpanded 4,600 sq ft gluten free bakery. Months later, we received a further four Great Taste Awards, three for the new gluten free round cakes and one for our gluten free chocolate brownie, which has become our bestselling brownie. 2017 projected sales of gluten free cakes are in excess of £3 million, over 17% of total sales.


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Highlighting best practice

UPB Products Ltd / Café Asia

Inspired by the vibrant flavours and colours of Asia

A family business – Amit Bhavsar with sister Shruti Pellett

FACTS ABOUT UPB PRODUCTS LTD / CAFÉ ASIA »» We develop, manufacture and supply frozen Asian and Oriental snack foods, under our Café Asia brand »» Our key focus is developing exceptional taste, memorable authentic flavours, great quality ingredients, innovation, new product development and best in sector branding »» Our aim is to recreate the passion and attention to detail of small-scale street vendors and bring this to the mass market »» Projected 2017 turnover of £7.5 million »» 40 staff and planning to expand »» Family-owned and managed »» Established 1981 »» Based in Willesden, NW London »»

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PB Products was started by my parents in 1981, when I was just seven years old. I’m Amit Bhavsar, now the company’s Managing Director and I’ve been surrounded by food and the family business for as long as I can remember. After studying English Literature at university and qualifying as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, it was only natural that I joined the business and, hopefully, take it to the next level. With the growth in snacking and convenience foods, along with the rising popularity of Asian ‘street foods’, our range – including samosas, bhajis, pakoras, sheekh kebabs, spring rolls, gyoza, wantons, dim sum, bao buns and satay skewers – is in great demand. We supply supermarkets, wholesalers and catering companies under our Café Asia brand and, more recently, manufacture items for sale under supermarkets’ own brand label.

How we work The company operates from a dedicated factory in North West London that is British Retail Consortium (BRC) Grade A accredited – this is the Gold Standard for food manufacturing facilities, which means customers can be confident and assured of the highest food standards and processes. On site we have separate new product development and production kitchens, production rooms, packing and ingredient batching rooms, frozen and dry storage warehouses, administration and management offices, quality control offices, specialised food production machinery and, most important of all, our staff. We are a niche manufacturer, taking our inspiration from the food markets and street kitchens that are so popular and part of everyday culture in Asia and the Far East. The foods we develop and manufacture are labour-intensive: all our products

FOOD & DRINK are hand made or hand finished, as this is the best way to ensure authenticity. Our success and longevity highlight the continued consumer demand for highquality, hand-made, authentic foods that are competitively priced. Our aim is to recreate the passion and attention to detail of small-scale street vendors and bring this to the mass market.

Globalisation – the increasing integration and interconnectedness of markets and trade in the global economy – has impacted on every aspect of our operations as a business. We buy onions from Poland, pastry from Malaysia, spices from India, lamb from Spain; our packaging is purchased from China and Vietnam. We have staff from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ghana and Romania. The UK, and London in particular, has been a global hub and magnet for people, goods and services and we must absolutely ensure this does not change after Brexit, or we will be a poorer nation both financially and culturally. The UK must remain as open, diverse, welcoming and business-friendly as possible or Brexit will have a significant and long term detrimental impact on our country.

Manufacture of flame grilled sheekh kebabs

Core values Keep it natural – All our products use 100% natural ingredients, the same ingredients that are readily available in Asian or Oriental grocery stores. This gives Café Asia lines that home-made taste. We blast freeze all products within three hours of manufacture, locking in the flavour and goodness. Do it better – We test our products against the market with one simple aim, to make ours the best. We do this through the ingredients we use, our high-quality supplier base, our manufacturing techniques and an intense focus on new product development and improvement. Innovation and speed – As a small company in a crowded market, our competitive edge stems from being

Our aim is to recreate the passion and attention to detail of smallscale street vendors and bring this to the mass market

As well as manufacturing in the UK, we also work very closely with factories in Thailand, Malaysia and China to produce some of our lines, under licence. UPB will create the recipes, product specifications, factory processes and quality control guidelines for our suppliers to follow. We have strict processes and regulations in place, combined with extensive experience to ensure imported food products meet our exacting standards.

Street food – a way of life in Asia

As a business heavily exposed to currency risk, with significant purchases in US dollars, the fall in sterling in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum vote has had an impact on our profit margins and this uncertainty and volatility make forward planning problematic. UPB PRODUCTS LTD / CAFÉ ASIA

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Investment for growth »» £1.3 million invested in the last five years to upgrade the factory, increase capacity and improve efficiency.

Cafe Asia innovation – microwaveable Bao Buns

Our success and longevity highlight the continued consumer demand for high quality, hand-made, authentic foods that are competitively priced

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agile, dynamic and innovative. A case in point was our steamed buns range, launched in 2016. These bao buns are becoming very popular in fashionable Oriental restaurants. However, steam cooking is not considered convenient by UK consumers for home preparation. Therefore, we developed a microwaveable pouch in which to steam cook our bao buns from frozen in just 40 seconds. Café Asia was first to reach the market with this innovation. Taste is everything – In panel tests, many of the rival products we sample taste of nothing or nowhere in particular, as if these products were created by committee, or key ingredients were removed because of cost. Café Asia lines are created by a vastly-experienced, closelycollaborative and well-travelled team of chefs and food industry professionals. As such, we do our best to make our lines as authentic and close to the original concept or inspiration as possible. Attention to detail – Small things matter. From the initial concept of a product, through to kitchen and factory trials, photography and packaging design, excellence and attention to detail are paramount for the launch of every new Café Asia line.

»» Continued spending on digital marketing to increase awareness of our Café Asia brand, created in 2011 to give the company a new and contemporary identity. Since launching Café Asia, turnover has increased fivefold. Our lines are available in more than 600 Iceland stores, 400 Home Bargains stores, Costco UK and Booths supermarkets among others in the UK. We also manufacture foods for supermarket own-brand in a further 800+ stores. »» Exhibiting at international trade shows to enter new markets. We have found this extremely beneficial to date. »» Expansion of the Café Asia range to include cuisines from new and exciting food destinations such as Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Challenges ahead »» Rising cost of imports from Asia as a result of the weak pound. »» Potential shortage of low-skilled but highly-motivated labour due to curbs on immigrant workers. »» Uncertainty on import duties for goods purchased from outside the EU, once Brexit is finalised. »» Access barriers and likely additional costs involved in key EU export markets after Brexit unless a comprehensive free trade deal is negotiated. Providing these challenges can be overcome, then our continued growth and ability to invest and prosper will depend on those skills learned and applied over 35 years of trading – know your customers, know your market, know your products and everyone else’s; be agile, flexible and brave, and bring your best to the table.



Handmade in the UK in small batches, to maintain the integrity and quality of the product


raybakes has established itself as a maker of indulgent handmade cakes for delicatessens, farm shops, cafes, retailers and wholesale distributors over a 27 year period. ‘Having developed a good position in the UK market and not resting on our laurels, our Cumbria-based business now plans to look at the export market to position ourselves on an international stage,’ says Managing Director and founder, Justine Carruthers. Traybakes has been operating since 1990, but we have grown significantly in more recent years. We now have ambitious plans to take the business further, as we continue to evolve from our origins as a small farmhouse business to a serious contender producing on a bigger scale. Regardless of the size of our business, the high quality of our handmade Traybakes cakes remains our primary focus. In 2013, we moved from our previous premises to the purpose-built food production site we occupy today. This move was motivated by a more structured marketing strategy, and the consequent lack of capacity to fulfil the growing number of orders. Having quadrupled our space, the new facility has given us the ability to service the growing number of customers, and this in turn has increased our turnover by almost 200%.

Justine Carruthers, Managing Director, started the business in 1990 and is still at the helm today

FACTS ABOUT Traybakes »» Founded in 1990 by Justine Carruthers as Border Home Bake »» Made-by-hand Traybakes in Penrith, Cumbria »» Employs 21 local members of staff »» Uses traditional small batch baking skills »» Successful supplier for the Wimbledon Championships, James Martin Kitchen and Paul Hollywood franchises »» Available as an individual bar, sharing slice or service tray »»

Shortly after the move, Traybakes was rebranded, resulting in the redesign of our logo and packaging across our entire range. Out with the old, brown and orange colours with a rural feel, and in with a more contemporary-looking brand. This new look has been well received by our evolving demographic customer base. TRAYBAKES

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The Sharing Slice was developed as the perfect gift or hamper accompaniment

The UK customer landscape is changing

Food service is still a very important part of the Traybakes portfolio

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Today’s consumer is not only interested in convenience, they want quality and good nutrition

With the increasing geographical reach of our products, a number of new markets have opened up for us. For example, in the past decade, the surge of food-to-go options has drastically changed our industry. Alongside the usual delis and cafes, this new tradition in modern-day eating has also colonised places like airports and train stations. But today’s consumer is not only interested in convenience, they want quality and good nutrition. Going back to when we started out in 1990, making service tray products, it would have been almost unheard of for a consumer to buy a handmade product in a wrapper.

To meet this growing food-togo demand, we developed the individually wrapped bar, and now have 10 products in this range. This development has accounted for the largest growth levels in the company, going from 2% at outset, to around 50% of our revenues today, and this figure continues to grow every month. Demand for a retail offering that could be shared among the family, or used as a coffee table gift led to the introduction of our sharing slice, which is almost four times the size of a single bar. The sharing slice has opened up a number of new channels, which include the gift and hamper markets.

Bringing new products into the market Rather than a cake for every occasion or fad, we concentrate on developing products that are in-line with today’s dynamic consumer habits and trends. As a result, Traybakes launched the Granola bar in April 2017. With a nod firmly towards nutrition, this product has gained a great deal of interest from active and sporting individuals. Indeed, as part of the launch campaign, we have sponsored cycling and running events in our home county of Cumbria.


How and where we make our products All our products are made by hand in small batches, by local people using traditional home baking skills, which have been passed down through many generations. We have divided our 8,000 sq ft purpose-built food production site into six relatively small production kitchens, which emulate the environment of home baking; with locally-sourced suppliers used wherever possible. While production remains very much a hands-on process, we have invested in state-of-the-art packing and cutting equipment to enable the business to grow. This was done in order to meet increased production demand, and could be implemented knowing it would not compromise the quality or integrity of the Traybakes brand. Located on the edge of the English Lake District, overlooking the Cumbrian Fells, yet only minutes from the M6 motorway, this enviable facility and location enables us to occupy a gap in the market, between companies producing on a mass scale and smaller regional firms. The authentic way in which we create our products allows us to produce for our smaller independent customers as well as having the flexibility to meet larger volume demands.

Exporting will be integral Integral to our growth plans will be gaining a firm foothold in the export market; an ambition that could hinge on the outcome of the Brexit trading deals. So far, we’ve attended international trade shows and have undertaken training with the UK Trade & Industry’s Passport to Export programme. It is our intention to hold our current focus to continue to build on our

domestic credibility, in order to take the Traybakes brand overseas. However, having revamped our business in many areas we are now poised to work with export partners who can take us into Europe and beyond.

Diversity of customers As part of our marketing strategy we regularly exhibit at trade shows around the UK and this is a great source of inspiration for us; keeping us up to date with what others are producing and, most importantly, meeting customers, old and new, from independent shops, to Wimbledon and Waitrose. Our wholesale partners have been a significant force in driving our increased turnover, and this too is an area on which we intend to focus more attention.

Some members of Team Traybakes at home, in rural Cumbria

The ‘grab and go’ Individually Wrapped Bar, proving to be the fastest growing part of the Traybakes collection

To sum up, Traybakes is a privatelyowned small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) and we are passionate about our product having built a brand that resonates with a diverse demographic market. As with all businesses, we have challenges, but we pride ourselves on listening to our customers’ needs and being able to respond rapidly and with flexibility.


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Lynher Dairies

Naturally occurring moulds give nettle-wrapped Yarg its unique bloomy white appearance Dairy owner Catherine Mead in the Kern store

ABOUT CATHERINE MEAD »» Owner and Managing Director of Lynher Dairies »» Vice-chair of the Specialist Cheesemakers Association »» Judge at the British and World Cheese Awards »» British Cheese Awards – Cheese Person of the Year »» Woman of Achievement – Women in Business Awards »» Manufacturer of the Year – Western Morning News


ost cheeses in Britain are known by their generic name, such as Cheddar or Stilton. Yarg, made exclusively by Lynher Dairies in Cornwall, is one of the few known by its brand name. Wrapped in stinging nettles, this iconic cheese was first made 33 years ago by Alan Gray in his kitchen on the edges of Bodmin Moor, its name being the backward spelling of his own. Still made by hand, production now takes place in a purpose-built dairy near Truro. Wild Garlic Yarg followed to much acclaim and Lynher Dairies’ newest cheese, the handsome black-waxed Kern, won Best English Cheese at the British Cheese Awards whilst still in development. Early recognition Yarg was one of the very early cheeses in the 1980s revival of hand-made British cheeses. The 90s saw more and more customers seeking diversity on their cheeseboards and when, at the start of the new millennium, market focus turned to provenance, integrity and natural ingredients, Lynher Dairies was right there at the head of the pack. A Wild Garlic variety was launched in 2001, helping make Yarg become one of the largest artisan cheese brands in Britain.

Brand excellence Yarg is genuinely unique. No-one else makes cheese wrapped in nettles, so its true point of difference makes it an easy product to recognise. With that recognition comes the understanding that it is made in picturesque Cornwall by a small team strongly connected to their community.

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‘Customers clearly require consistent excellence so we continually develop the scientific side of cheesemaking to ensure each and every Yarg delivers,’ says dairy owner Catherine Mead. ‘There will always be seasonal taste differences in milk and nettles but our pledge is to always achieve distinction. That promise to ourselves is central to our business.’

Philosophy ‘In terms of brand awareness, it enjoys significantly greater household familiarity than one might expect given the scale of production,’ adds Catherine. ‘We have reached this position through an unwavering adherence to a very strong set of principles. We’re a good company to do business with and we’re a good company to work for. ‘We do take bold decisions for growth but we have a managed and sustainable approach. All that sits alongside a product that has a great story to tell with an originality and integrity which makes it stand out from the crowd.’

»» World Cheese Awards – Nettle Yarg, Wild Garlic Yarg and Kern have all won the coveted Super Gold or Gold awards »» British Cheese Awards – Kern has already scooped both the Best Modern British Cheese and the Best English Cheese titles.

Putting people first Lynher Dairies’ cheeses are made in open vats by a small team of specialist cheesemakers whose skills are always being honed and refined. As the largest business in a rural area, it is a vital local employer with a pledge to provide first-class jobs. Open conversations between all staff about remuneration, profitability and production costs are positively encouraged.

A product with a great story to tell and an originality and integrity which makes it stand out from the crowd

The milk comes from 12 carefully chosen local farms, with the leaves picked each spring from woodlands and fields within reach of the dairy. But cottage industry it is not. The dairy works to very exacting nationally accredited and audited technical standards.

Wages are above industry standard, with continuous professional and career development in place for all, as well as constant re-investment in people, equipment and systems. ‘Cornwall loses much of its young talent across the Tamar so our training in engineering and cheesemaking skills is a pre-requisite for growth. Kern has generated new jobs and additional roles here,’ says Catherine.

Nettle leaves, painted on in concentric circles, create an edible rind and a delicate mushroomy taste

Range Lynher Dairies produces three worldclass cheeses. Nettle Yarg and Wild Garlic Yarg are young, semi-hard cheeses made to the same recipe, with the leaves themselves creating the remarkable difference as they mature. Nettles make for an earthier, crumblier cheese, with Wild Garlic encouraging a slightly firmer texture with a flavour that whispers its name. Kern is a hard farmhouse cheese wrapped in a breathable black wax coating. LYNHER DAIRIES

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The curd is cut into tiny pieces to increase acidity and fermentation

Lynher Dairies takes a whole team approach with individual aims and ambitions equally high on the agenda

Kern » D I S T R I B U T I O N

»» National retailers – Waitrose, M&S, Sainsbury’s »» Specialist independent retailers – Neal’s Yard Dairy, Paxton and Whitfield »» Virgin trains, First Great Western and British Airways »» Major events – Ascot, Wimbledon, Chelsea FC »» Export sales – US (Wholefood Markets), Australia (to small chains and independent retailers)

Kern has completely changed the financial structure of Lynher Dairies. The already much-praised Kern owes its existence to a uniquely Cornish sales curve. With four million extra visitors every July and August, Lynher’s summer sales spike is comparable with Christmas. Rather than making more Yarg, the business decided to create a longer maturing cheese to better utilise the dairy equipment and the staff’s talent. With fast-maturing Yarg, the cost of production is tied up for four weeks as it matures; with Kern, it is 18 months. Kern is made like a mature Gouda but using cultures found in Alpine cheeses to give it individual character. 2017 sees investment in expansion with a new building, equipment and stock in excess of £1 million.

Working in partnership Lynher Dairies plays an important role in the food industry and the local community: »» Developed the first National Cheese Making Apprenticeship Scheme in 2013, continuing to support it with an ongoing programme of

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cheese making, quality control and engineering apprenticeships »» Belongs to Cornwall Food and Farming, which encourages schools and young people to better connect with food and agriculture »» Is a member of Cornwall Food and Drink, driving nationwide sales of Cornwall’s excellent food and drink.

Growth In 1990, Lynher Dairies was producing 25 tonnes of cheese; by 2000, production was at 100 tonnes. The move to a new bespoke dairy not only offered more space and capacity but also met the ever more exacting industry standards of food safety. An extension followed in 2006 and by 2016, with measured and sustainable growth at the heart of the strategy, Lynher Dairies had increased its volume by 100%. Today, it produces more than 250 tonnes of cheese annually (10% of which is exported to the USA) without compromising on a steadfast belief that demand should exceed supply. Kern has created a projected growth of 30% in three years.


The Harry Hotspur Group

Our accolades table


he Harry Hotspur Group is a food and drinks business based on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, a tidal island one mile off the coast of Northumberland. Established in 2012 the group runs several businesses including The Alnwick Brewery Company, the Alnwick Rum Company and our famed Lindisfarne Limited Mead business with its wide range of drinks, preservatives and bespoke confectionery. In 2016 we continued our expansion by acquiring a small brewery near Alnwick, the capital of Northumberland, and established a distribution base nearby. We are a group with long-rooted foundations. Lindisfarne Limited traces its production back to the late 1950s, Alnwick Rum to 1914 and The Alnwick Brewery even earlier, to the mid 1800s. The companies within the group have a range of products that enjoy a reputation for quality. They receive attention from all over the world and, together with their unique history and provenance, often feature in the media to high acclaim. Associated with the rich and long history of the region, group production is focused on Lindisfarne from where over two million bottles of mead have been sold. The inspiration for Lindisfarne and its meads dates back to the 7th century and to St Aidan’s monastery founded on the Island in 634AD: indeed aspects of its mead production date back even further to the time of the Roman occupation of the region. The company’s graphics and distinctive visual signature is inspired by the magnificent Lindisfarne Gospels, crafted by Bishop Eadfrith on Holy Island c. 700AD.

Our Chairman, Keith Stephenson

FACTS ABOUT THE HARRY HOTSPUR GROUP »» Established 2012 »» Moved our head office to Holy Island in 2014 »» Investments are in niche Northumbrian heritage businesses »» The brands first came to market between 1860 and the early 1960s »» The extended shareholder group employs around 40 staff »» Turnover at £2 million is growing around 20% per year »» We are proud of our association with The Holy Island of Lindisfarne »» Over 2 million bottles of mead sold to date


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The Group’s Alnwick products carry the rich heritage of the town whose name they share. One of our country’s most famous knights, thanks to William Shakespeare’s Henry IVth Part 1, Harry Hotspur, whose Percy family seat is the strikingly beautiful Alnwick Castle lies at the heart of much of our branding.

A lack of hunger, however defined, is an entrepreneur’s cancer

The owners We are three entrepreneurs with collectively well over 130 years of business experience between us. Our vision is to help preserve and expand niche heritage food and drink businesses in Northumbria. We feel passionately that the UK has a globally unique set of regional offerings that, once lost, cannot be replicated. Historically, the UK has been first to market in many areas; we are very aware, however, that first in often means first out and that’s what we are determined to stop.

Too many of our businesses have suffered the dreaded two to three generation challenge of inspired creation followed by maturity and then gradual depletion with family members The brewery at Alnwick

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struggling with the competing demands of market change cosseted by financial comfort. A lack of hunger, however defined, is an entrepreneur’s cancer. Our task is to reverse this trend and, to date, we have been successful; however, these challenges are formidable.

Developing the people and working culture, our DNA Our focus has been to create a loyal, age-balanced team, which feels as excited as the owners and releases the power of connective working. We have seen how powerful this effect can be in larger, professional firms and bringing this energy into smaller businesses is wise. More autonomy on the shop floor, in production and in sales with greater role clarity has given new life to many of the staff. We are sponsoring an accountant to obtain the prestigious Chartered Institute of Management Accounting qualification and using a government apprenticeship scheme to train up a young salesperson in one of our shops.


Reading the market, spotting what’s next Identifying trends in a fickle market is hard and is one of the most demanding issues we have had to address. We have already broadened the range of products we offer, appealing to a wider audience. Although gin is still the number one spirit in the market, we are predicting resurgence in the darker spirits and are creating an exotic range of rum liqueurs, which will position us ahead of the curve.

Managing cash, being prepared to give first to get more back Do to others as you would have them do to you is not bad advice. Breaking the misplaced belief that you never pay suppliers on time has been tough. It needs an initial and, at times, seemingly endless injection of cash but you would be amazed how our supplier relationships have changed. When we need a favour they are there for us – real partners.

Protecting our quality, always driving for more in all we do Quality is a given until it’s not there. We will shortly attain the UK’s Safe and Local Supplier Approval, better known as SALSA, accreditation as a symbol of quality. A growing number of our customers are starting to require this but it takes time and money. However, the excitement it creates internally is well worth it as our members of staff feel the pride of achievement.

Checking quality in production

We see a very promising future as the draw of our historic heritage attracts more interest in, and visitors to, the region from across the world. In addressing this we will continue to focus on:

»» Empowering the right staff Opening the eyes of some and awakening others, to ensure customer interaction remains a priority in order to create a memorable experience both for the 500,000 visitors who annually visit the island and our growing band of social media followers. »» Building the right brand awareness Whilst our move towards more local provenance and our rebranding has been well received by our customers it needs to be constantly refined to suit an ever-changing audience. Embracing technology and an active social media has created a new customer base. However, their likes and wants are different so the challenge continues for us in order to remain at the forefront of all our customers’ thoughts.

We see a promising future as the draw of our historic heritage attracts more interest… from across the world

Last year our mead achieved a silver medal at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition. We were also placed as the best buy Mulled Wine by The Independent and our Spiced Mead and Rum were featured in the BBC’s Countryfile Christmas Special; so we feel we are moving in the right direction.

Indeed, as we enter the digital era of connectivity, please connect with us if you want to share practical tips to overcome working challenges. The closer we all work together the stronger we all become.


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Review of Parliament A snap election On the 19th April 2017, having repeatedly insisted that she had no intention of calling a snap election, Prime Minister Theresa May sprung a complete surprise when she summoned the press to Downing Street to announce she would seek a Commons vote to go to the country on June 8th 2017. The announcement, made as Parliament returned from its Easter break, had the force of a thunderclap in Westminster. Quite unexpectedly, MPs and parties were plunged into election mode. The immediate effect was to turn what were now the two remaining Prime Minister’s Question Times of the Parliament into de facto leader’s debates – especially since it was made clear that Theresa May would not take part in the kind of televised debates held in the 2010 and 2015 elections. The Prime Minister stated her case: ‘There are three things that a country needs: a strong economy, strong defence and strong, stable leadership. That is what our plans for Brexit and our plans for a stronger Britain will deliver... The Right hon. Member for Islington North (The Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn) would bankrupt our economy and weaken our defences and is simply not fit to lead.’ To Conservative jeers, Mr Corbyn counter-attacked: ‘She says that it is about leadership, yet she refuses to defend her record in television debates. It is not hard to see why. The Prime Minister says that we have a stronger economy, yet she cannot explain why people’s wages are lower today than they were 10 years ago or why more

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households are in debt. Six million people are earning less than the living wage, child poverty is up, and pensioner poverty is up.’ The two leaders traded more accusations with Theresa May warning that ordinary working people would face higher taxes and lost jobs under Labour while Mr Corbyn claimed the Prime Minister’s priority was ‘tax giveaways to the richest corporations while our children’s schools are starved of the resources they need to educate our children for the future’. Brexit emerged as one of the Prime Minister’s main campaign themes: ‘every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain with the European Union. And every vote for the Conservatives will mean we can stick to our plan for a stronger Britain and take the right long-term decisions for a more secure future for this country.’ Later that afternoon, the Commons voted to call an early election, by 522 votes to 13.

Prime Minister Theresa May sought to strengthen her position before negotiations with the EU began


The Queen’s Speech to negotiate for the support of the Northern Ireland Democratic Unionists ... and as the first debate of this new Parliament began, that support had not been secured. Mr Corbyn could not resist the open goal. To triumphant Labour laughter he noted that ‘the latest coalition may already be in some chaos’.

The Queen’s Speech announced the government’s legislative plan for the coming Parliament

What a difference. Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s final Commons confrontation before the election had seen the Conservatives limbering up for a triumphal campaign which would culminate in the inevitable smashing of their Labour opponents. When the diminished, battered band of Conservative MPs reassembled, minus their parliamentary majority, for the state opening of Parliament on June 21st, they were chastened and uncertain, while euphoria gripped the occupants of the Labour benches. When they came to speak in the traditional debate on an address thanking her Majesty for the Queen’s Speech – the new Government’s legislative programme – the dynamic between the two main figures had changed completely. Mr Corbyn seemed a far more confident, assertive parliamentary performer, relishing the opportunity to throw back the taunts that had been hurled at him during the campaign. A Government which had warned that he could only gain power in a ‘coalition of chaos’ with the SNP and the Lib Dems had been forced

‘Nothing could emphasise that chaos more than the Queen’s Speech we have just heard: a threadbare legislative programme from a Government who have lost their majority and apparently run out of ideas altogether. This would be a thin legislative programme even if it was for one year, but for two years – two years? There is not enough in it to fill up one year.’ That was a reference to the Government’s decision to declare a two-year Parliamentary Session – a procedural move intended to ensure ministers could push through vital Brexit legislation in time for the exit date in March 2019. Mr Corbyn mocked the Prime Minister for dropping a series of election promises that had not found favour with the voters: means-testing the winter fuel allowance and replacing the triple lock on pensions among others. On Brexit, Mr Corbyn stuck to Labour’s careful positioning in favour of a deal with the EU ‘that puts jobs and the economy first’. he called for full access to the single market and a customs arrangement that provided Britain with the ‘exact same benefits’ as now. And in his final flourish he warned the Prime Minister that Labour were now ‘not merely an Opposition; we are a Government in waiting, with a policy programme that enthused and REVIEW OF PARLIAMENT

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Review of Parliament engaged millions of people in this election, many for the first time in their political lives. We are ready to

offer real strong and stable leadership in the interests of the many, not the few.’

Grenfell Tower The fire that destroyed Grenfell Tower, a social housing block in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, seemed to some to crystallise the issues that had driven the ‘Corbyn Surge’ in the General Election just days earlier. Accusations about the neglect of social housing tenants, chronic underinvestment and official incompetence were flying, even while the pall of smoke still hovered over the capital and the horrific images of the blaze were replayed on TV. So potent was the symbolism that it became intertwined in the debates on the post-election Queen’s Speech - but the Government also committed to keep MPs informed about the aftermath, the efforts to identify casualties in the wreckage of the tower, to re-house and assist those who had lost their homes, and to set up a public inquiry. So it was that the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, came to the Commons on July 3rd to announce £2.5 million had been distributed from the special £5 million fund set up to help the residents. Mr Javid said the public inquiry and the criminal investigation had to be allowed the space to follow the evidence wherever it took them, and everyone should be careful not to prejudice their work. Responding to the Labour MP, David Lammy, who had lost a family friend in the fire, he added that although it was for the judge to determine the scope of the inquiry, he expected it to be ‘as broad and wide-ranging as possible’.

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Mr Javid also dealt with the key issue of the authorities’ inability to say exactly how many people had died: ‘There has been much speculation about who was in Grenfell Tower on the night of the fire, and it is vital that we find out. The Director of Public Prosecutions has made it clear that there will be no prosecution of tenants ... who may have been illegally sub-letting their property, ... There may have been people living in flats that were illegally sub-let who had no idea about the true status of their tenancy. Their families want to know if they perished in the fire. These are their sons, their daughters, their brothers and their sisters. They need closure, and that is the least that they deserve.’ The Government was also taking urgent action to avoid another tragedy in buildings with architectural cladding similar to that which appeared to have been a factor in the Grenfell fire.

Tributes for the Grenfell victims came from across the country


Last rites on the Brexit Bill Back in March, when an election seemed a distant prospect, parliament’s main focus was on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. This Bill, which would give Theresa May the authority to begin the UK’s divorce from the European Union, was forced on the Government after a Supreme Court ruling that Parliamentary approval was required to begin the process. David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union since July 2016

Despite fears that the Bill could be watered down or even reshaped to reverse the Referendum verdict, it passed through the Commons unscathed. All attempts to amend, or add, to its 136 words were voted down. Predictions of a major rebellion of up to 50 Conservative Remainers proved unfounded, and only a handful defied the party whip. But when it moved on to the house of Lords, where there is no Government majority and a large concentration of proEU peers, the Bill was amended twice.

One change guaranteed the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, and the second promised Parliament a ‘meaningful vote’ on the final Brexit deal. That meant the Bill had to return to the Commons because both houses of Parliament must agree on the final wording of legislation. After much debate, MPs rejected both Lords’ amendments, the Bill was sent back for immediate consideration in the house of Lords, where David Davis came to watch his Junior Minister, Lord Bridges, call on Peers to drop their opposition. And while the Liberal Democrat, Lord Oates, did urge Peers to continue defying the Government, support for the amendment melted away, and the attempt to throw it back to MPs was once more rejected, as was the attempt to keep the ‘meaningful vote’. The final form of the Bill was settled – and it was sent off for the Royal Assent, un-amended.

Article 50 is triggered on the Referendum verdict and formally trigger Britain’s departure talks with the EU.

Theresa May meets with European Council President Donald Tusk in Downing Street

The passage of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act cleared the way for the Prime Minister to act

She was greeted by cheering Conservative MPs when she announced, on the 29th March, that the process had begun: ‘A few minutes ago, in Brussels, the United Kingdom’s permanent representative to the EU handed a letter to the President of the European Council on my behalf confirming the Government’s decision to invoke Article 50 of the treaty on European Union. The Article 50 process is now under way and, in accordance with the wishes of the British people, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union.’ REVIEW OF PARLIAMENT

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Review of Parliament She added that she wanted to build a close partnership with the EU: ‘We want to continue to buy goods and services from the EU, and sell it ours ... Indeed, in an increasingly unstable world, we must continue to forge the closest possible security co-operation to keep our people safe. We face the same global threats from terrorism and extremism.’ Jeremy Corbyn warned against leaving without a trade agreement: ‘the Prime Minister says that no deal is better than a bad deal, but the reality is that no deal is a bad deal. he said the debate had now moved on to what a post-Brexit Britain would be like: ‘There are Conservatives who

want to use Brexit to turn this country into a low-wage tax haven. Labour is determined to invest in a high-skill, high-tech, high-wage future ... Labour will not give this Government a free hand to use Brexit to attack rights and protections and to cut services, or to create a tax dodger’s paradise.’ The eurosceptic Conservative, Jacob Rees-Mogg, quoted the Elizabethan hero Sir Francis Drake: ‘’There must be a begynnyng of any great matter, but the contenewing unto the end untyll it be thoroughly ffynyshed yeldes the trew glory’ ... I wish my Right hon. Friend good luck and good fortune in her negotiations until she comes to true glory and is welcomed back to this house as a 21st century Gloriana.’

A terrorist attack on Parliament On the afternoon of March 22nd, as MPs were engaged in a routine vote of the Pensions Bill, a man drove his car into pedestrians just outside, killing two people and injuring dozens more, before stabbing to death a police officer who was guarding the gates to the houses of Parliament, and he was then shot dead himself. The sitting of the Commons was suspended and MPs were held in their Chamber for several hours, before being escorted away. When they returned the next day, they began with a minute of silence. Then the Speaker opened proceedings by expressing ‘our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this outrage. A police officer, PC Keith Palmer, was killed defending us, defending Parliament and defending parliamentary democracy.’ The Prime Minister was heard in silence as she updated MPs: ‘Yesterday, an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy, but today we meet as

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normal, as generations have done before us and as future generations will continue to do, to deliver a simple message: we are not afraid, and our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism. We meet here, in the oldest of all Parliaments, because we know that democracy, and the values that it entails, will always prevail.’

The attack on Westminster was one of several terrorist attacks in the UK during the year

FOOD & DRINK attacker, and to pay the ultimate price; a response that says to the men and women who propagate this hate and evil, “You will not defeat us.” Mr Speaker, let this be the message from this house and this nation today: our values will prevail.’ The Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said people should not allow the voices of hatred to divide or cower them – adding that PC Keith Palmer had given his life defending the public and democracy.

PC Keith Palmer, who died trying to stop the attacker, was given a full police service funeral, and praised for his heroism

She gave an account of the previous day’s events and ended by declaring that the best response to terrorism was to act normally: ‘As I speak, millions will be boarding trains and aeroplanes to travel to London and to see for themselves the greatest city on Earth. It is in these actions – millions of acts of normality – that we find the best response to terrorism: a response that denies our enemies their victory, that refuses to let them win, that shows we will never give in; a response driven by that same spirit that drove a husband and father to put himself between us and our

Watching impassively in the crowd of MPs standing at the Bar of the house, in the area across the Chamber facing the Speaker’s Chair, was the Foreign Office Minister, Tobias Ellwood. he had tried to save PC Palmer’s life by giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Many MPs took a moment to exchange a word with him as they passed or pat him on the arm. And many of those who spoke over the next hour praised his actions. Tributes and thanks came from all the Party Leaders – the SNP’s Westminster Leader, Angus Robertson, the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, and the DUP’s, Nigel Dodds. The Conservative MP, James Cleverly, had served with PC Palmer in the army spoke movingly and implored the Prime Minister to ‘posthumously recognise his gallantry and sacrifice formally.’ Theresa May promised that she would.

President Trump This year more than most, US politics had a bearing on our own. Not only were many MPs looking across the Atlantic for a trade deal and an enhancement of the ‘special relationship’, following the decision to leave the EU. But the American people themselves had managed to

outdo the British electorate when it came to delivering the most surprising democratic decision of 2016. As recently as January 2016, a small number of MPs had gathered in Westminster hall to debate whether or not Donald Trump should be banned REVIEW OF PARLIAMENT

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Review of Parliament from entering the UK altogether. his comments about Muslims, among others, had led to an online petition for him to be considered a ‘hate preacher’ and therefore banned from British soil. Even those who supported the motion knew there was little chance of such a ban being implemented. But few would have suspected that, just 13 months later, Parliament would be discussing the appropriateness of a state visit from President Donald Trump. One of the first acts of the new US President was to order a blanket ban on people from a list of Middle Eastern countries travelling to the US. In the Commons, the former Labour Leader, Ed Miliband, and the Conservative, Nadhim Zahawi, joined forces to ask the Speaker for an emergency debate – and it was held that day. Mr Zahawi, born in Iraq to Kurdish parents, arrived in the UK as a nineyear-old refugee from Saddam hussein’s regime. he is now a British citizen, but because he was born in Iraq, he believed he came under the Trump ban. he told MPs his place of birth already meant he had been required to go through an interview at the US embassy, to secure the right to travel to America, under rules imposed by President Obama. But the new restrictions were much tougher. The US Government has since clarified that people with British passports will not be affected by the ban, whatever the country of their birth, but Mr Zahawi still thought the ban was ‘wholly counterproductive’. he described how it was already being used by pro-Islamic State social media accounts as ‘clear evidence that the USA is seeking to destroy Islam. They have even called it the “blessed ban”’.

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Labour’s Yvette Cooper, who chairs the home Affairs Select Committee, was ‘deeply worried’ that the Government had already invited the new President to make a state visit to Britain: ‘It will look like an endorsement of a ban that is so morally wrong and that we should be standing against.’ The Conservative, Sir Simon Burns, disagreed: ‘I think it is absolutely right that the British Government continue the work of the Prime Minister to build bridges with President Trump so that we can, through engagement, seek to persuade him and to minimise or reduce the danger of his more outrageous policies ... I believe that very little would be achieved by cancelling a state visit to which the invitation has already been extended and accepted.’ The emergency debate was on a formal motion that MPs had ‘considered’ Donald Trump’s travel ban, so no call for a policy change was voted on.

Nadhim Zahawi MP strongly criticised the Trump administration’s travel ban on certain Muslim countries

Acknowledgements Images in this publication have been reproduced courtesy of the following individuals/organisations: Andrea Leadsom | Flickr | Department of Energy and Climate Change Minette Batters | Flickr | NFU European Parliament | Flickr | Kyle Taylor Westminster | Flickr | Eric Huybrechts McCain Foods | Will Stirling Costa | Flickr | Paul Wilkinson Nigel Farage | Flickr | Michael Vadon NFU | Flickr | NFU Strawberries | Flickr | Ben Smith Ian Wright | FDF Soil | Flickr | Soy Bean Rebecca Pow | Flickr | NFU Jake Berry | Flickr | Department for Communities and Local Government Philip Hammond | Flickr | DFID Unite the Union | Flickr | William Murphy Pensioners | Flickr | winhide Michael Gove | Flickr | Number 10 Theresa May | Flickr | Number 10

Westminster Publications is grateful to Mark D’Arcy and Will Stirling for their contributions to this publication.

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