Macphie corporate social responsibility report 2019/20

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corporate social responsibility report


Contents A message from our chairman


Executive summary


Our way


Coronavirus: caring in a crisis








Looking to the future


CSR Report 2019/20

A message from our chairman 4

CSR Report 2019/20

As a family, and as a business, we’ve built a reputation for doing the right thing. A legacy we’re proud of. Our motivation doesn’t come solely from the bottom line and we’ve always gone about our business with consideration for the people and places around us, striving to achieve sustainable and profitable growth that provides jobs and creates wealth in the local area. In the last year, we’ve seen sustainability taking the spotlight, with customers placing it high on the agenda. However, the year has taken an unexpected turn with the outbreak of COVID-19. Our industry changed almost overnight as the world quickly adopted a new way of life and we’ve had to adapt to survive. We’ve been able to use our position to help the people and places around us in ways we’d never have anticipated at the start of the year. Collaborating with a local distillery we have helped produce a hand sanitising rub for use by frontline care providers. We’ve also made our products available to vulnerable families locally following the closure of schools across the country. I’m proud of what our business has achieved under these unprecedented circumstances and as the industry works its way through this crisis, our plans for the year ahead see us marry ambitious commercial targets with aims to stretch our sustainability goals even further.

Alastair Macphie Chairman April 2020


CSR Report 2019/20

Executive summary Accredited member of B Corporation since

Electricity used in our main manufacturing site is sourced from





per year to spend on hobbies and activities outside work. This is funded by our employee trust

paid out to fund students taking on further education

Employees can claim up to

This year we’ve supported over


charities and community projects


On one product line, we’ve cut back on

renewable sources


Our workforce has raised

£25,000 for the Scottish

Association for Mental Health (SAMH)

In 2019, we launched a

student scholarship programme

We run

CSR Report 2019/20

New equipment is making our wastewater

3.2 tonnes of plastic waste

to support learning in food and consumer science



cleaner before it’s returned to the environment

£28,000 has been paid out this year to support our retired workforce

3 active school partnerships

We’ve helped

In 2019 we were named Pizza Hut Restaurant’s Sustainable Supplier of the Year

We revamped our

employee forum to improve communication

Since the outbreak of coronavirus we have produced over



local causes through

bottles of hand sanitiser

volunteering initiatives


CSR Report 2019/20

Our way Inspired by a pioneering spirit and a will to be something completely different, Macphie has grown to be a truly unique international family ingredient business. Ours is no traditional business. As a partner to some of the world’s leading food brands since the 1920s, we’re dedicated to providing ideas, creativity and sustainable answers. No matter the challenge, we rise to it. From bread to savoury sauces and everything in between, we work with a range of food brands who create amazing dishes based on our products. It is the “we” that we care so deeply about. So many people have played significant roles in our past and our present day, we would not exist were it not for them. Colleagues, friends, neighbours.


And our commitment to care includes our surrounding environment. We’re on a continual journey of achieving sustainability, wherever we can. That journey of responsible ownership is one we’ll continue to honour as we grow and evolve and continue to offer innovation that breaks down barriers. It’s never simply been about “us”. And it’s not. We’re proud to be a B Corp member alongside over 3,000 companies committed to hitting social and environmental goals as well as financial ones. We were successfully re-accredited in 2017 and are now preparing to complete our 2020 audit.

CSR Report 2019/20

Headquartered in Scotland on the 2,000acre Glenbervie estate in Aberdeenshire, we operate a second site in North Lanarkshire and a presentation kitchen in the Midlands. We employ a workforce of around 300 people across a variety of roles including product design, engineering and production. Twelve percent of the company is held by an employee trust with both past and present employees representing their colleagues, along with members of the Macphie family. The trust exists to spend the dividend of its shareholding to the maximum benefit of the employee community. Find examples of this in our people section (page 15).

Glenbervie HQ Aberdeenshire

Tannochside North Lanarkshire

Midlands Customer Centre Coventry


CSR Report 2019/20

Coronavirus: caring in a crisis Our year took an unexpected twist when the outbreak of COVID-19 shook the nation. We saw our business adapt and pull together like never before. Amid shortages of much-needed hand sanitiser, we collaborated with Loch Lomond Distillery to produce a disinfectant hand sanitising rub for use by frontline care providers. With demand continuing at an all-time high, we partnered with other local organisations including Deeside Distillery and Calachem and transformed our bottling line to produce thousands more bottles. As of April 2020, we’ve contributed over 250,000 bottles into the supply chain with product reaching NHS hospitals, Scottish Government and some of the UKs leading supermarkets.


Our efforts to support frontline workers so far hasn’t gone unnoticed and we are proud to have received praise in the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon’s briefing which addressed concerns over provisions of protective equipment. The company has also continued to play a critical role in feeding the nation throughout this crisis. With supermarket shelves being wiped of all basic stock, we reformatted some of our core bakery mixes to suit consumer kitchens. Following school closures in our local villages, we also worked with school teachers to get baked goods to vulnerable families who could no longer benefit from free school meals.

CSR Report 2019/20

Environment With our headquarters nestled among a rural Aberdeenshire estate, it’s our intention to have as little impact on the nature around us as possible. And this has always been our way. Forty years ahead of modern legislation protecting waterways from livestock, Glenbervie led the way, fencing off their water ways from cattle and sheep, allowing fish in the river to spawn and reproduce without diffused pollution from the estate. Following the government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), we continue to show progressive improvements and it’s not just the world on our doorstep we strive to protect. Since 2012, we’ve been a member of the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) – an organisation aimed at reducing deforestation overseas caused by the production of palm oil.

While some manufacturers are stripping palm oil from their recipes to elude the connection with deforestation, we realise that overseas economies will suffer if the use of palm oil suddenly stops. Our membership continues to help minimise the negative impact of palm cultivation on the environment and communities in producing regions. We also manufacture UTZ and Fairtrade-certified products, supporting each organisation in their plans to improve sustainable sourcing globally. Tracking environmental efforts throughout our supply chain, we formally screen all our suppliers, including points on social and environmental performance in our policies. We use third-party risk assessment tools such as SEDEX - a membership organisation which is driving sustainable improvements in global supply chains.


CSR Report 2019/20

Renewable energy We’re proud to have been the first company in the UK to use an industrial biomass plant to generate power to produce food and two onsite wind turbines have been powering parts of our manufacturing processes since 2014.

This year, we moved to 100% renewable electricity sources, taking 75% from Glenbervie Wind and the remainder from an offshore Danish wind farm.

Plastic crack down We’re taking action to cut down how much singleuse plastic is used in our processes and packaging. Our most significant changes have been on two of our top branded products.

We’ve also switched the black plastic bottle tops to white, to improve their chances of getting picked up by infrared equipment within recycling plants.

Our range of dessert toppings were previously sold in plastic bottles, wrapped in a printed plastic sleeve, both items coming from two separate suppliers.

We’re in the process of changing the packaging of our ready-to-use UHT products, moving to a 78% plant-based material. The new format contains more recycled material and reduces our carbon footprint on the production of this product by 11%.

By moving from the plastic wrap to a stick-on label, we’ve removed around 3.2tonnes of plastic waste each year and reduced the number of deliveries being made to our site to produce this product.

We’ve also changed the supply of our pallet wrap to a more environmentally-friendly material which sees a further plastic reduction of 65% on one production line alone.


CSR Report 2019/20

Waste not, want not In Glenbervie, we treat all liquid waste from our manufacturing processes, returning it to the river Bervie at the same quality - monitored by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Any remaining solid waste is put to good use by Glenbervie Home Farm which is located on the estate alongside our headquarters. We use steam generated from our biomass boiler to power our UHT plant resulting in high volumes of

wastewater – over 150,000litres a day across both sites – so it’s important we get our waste management right. In 2019, we installed a wastewater treatment plant on our second site in Tannochside, to improve the quality of any liquid waste leaving these premises. Initial tests show the water is 10 times cleaner than previous results.

Award-winning sustainability Our efforts to preserve the environment were recognised by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) earlier this year when Macphie was named Pizza Hut Restaurant’s Sustainable Supplier of the Year. Judges were said to be impressed with our forwardthinking mindset and use of renewable energy in our production processes, also commenting on our work to make our packaging more environmentally friendly. The annual awards recognise suppliers for outstanding performance in support of Pizza Hut’s business. This is the first year Pizza Hut has introduced a sustainability award which aims to celebrate

companies demonstrating a commitment to being a responsible business. Other nominees included Britvic, KK Foods, Lakeland Dairies and Beacon Foods. Macphie Commercial Director Warren Wells said, “We’re delighted to win this award and it’s great to see sustainability securing its place on the business agenda. “Every day, our employees are working to produce products used by chefs and bakers around the world. This doesn’t happen in isolation and we recognise the impact our business has on the people and places around us.”


CSR Report 2019/20

People We employ a team of around 300 people – each bringing a different ingredient to the mix. We encourage a culture in which people can be themselves at work, adding value in their own way.

We have diversity & inclusion and equal opportunities policies which set out our standards and we’re introducing training for line managers to make sure we’re maintain an inclusive environment.

Whipping up careers Helping our people gain qualifications while getting practical experience under their belts, we run modern apprenticeship programmes in baking and engineering.

Meet Blair After joining us at the age of 17, Blair Dunbar completed his apprenticeship in bakery skills this year. Under the watchful eye of our seasoned bakers, Blair spent a year in the development bakery, learning the basics before moving to the quality department to try his hand at a more analytical role. Having earned his qualification, Blair is now a full-time member of the team with plans to continue his learning at Macphie.


CSR Report 2019/20

Meet Heather Heather is a design student from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen who joined us in 2020 on a three month work placement. Working within the communications team, Heather got her hands on a variety of work, with exposure to advertising, web design and the launch of new branding.

Every day’s a school day It’s not just our apprentices who learn on the job. We’re a curious and ambitious bunch and have introduced training programmes to channel the growth of our workforce. This year, we have invested in our management team, recognising their ongoing role in the development and wellbeing of the wider workforce. We launched a four-month development programme for managers to arm them with the tools to drive the performance of their area through people development.

Funding the future We’re not just about the here and now. Funding teachers, scientists and engineers of the future, our employee trust funds a student bursary scheme. Open to the families of all past and present employees, the scheme aims to support students and alleviate the cost of going into further education.

Further supporting those starting their careers from scratch, we launched a food and consumer science scholarship through Abertay University in Dundee. Our first student received a payment of £1,500 to help towards their studies and is due to join us later in the year for a three-month work placement.

This year, over £17, 250 was paid out under this scheme.


CSR Report 2019/20

Cherry on top We offer an impressive benefits package which includes our leisure subsidy initiative. Funded by the Employee Trust, this employee perk aims to help everyone make the most of their free time. The initiative offers all 300 employees the chance to claim up to £100 per year to use towards hobbies, or activities they enjoy doing outside work. In its third year, over almost £8,000 has been paid out to employees under this scheme.

Meet John One of our production team leaders John Smith has been using the leisure subsidy scheme to make a lifechanging transformation and support his family. Last year, John put his £100 allowance towards the cost of martial arts fitness classes and as a result, has lost four stone in weight. “I try to go at least three times a week,” said John. “It’s an all abilities class run in a small centre in East Kilbride and the ages of people attending range from 16 years old up to 72.” “The last time I was weighed I had lost 56.5lb (4stone) and over 24 inches from my chest, waist and hips. “But the main reason for doing it was for my son Dixon who turned three last year. “In November 2018 we found out Dixon has - a very rare genetic condition called Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease. “It will mean for him that his mobility will be limited. He’ll be wheelchair bound and will require lifting and constant care so I want to get in the best shape I can to make sure I’m fit and able to give him the best care and support I can.”

Loud and clear When our people talk, we listen. This year we took the decision to revamp our employee forum. By introducing more regular meetings with more focused groups, we’ve been able to tackle issues at a more local level and talk through burning concerns. In addition to this, our chief executive regularly carries out informal coffee chats with each area of the business to invited to quarterly briefings to make sure everyone knows what’s happening across the business.


CSR Report 2019/20

Life-long relationship So many people have played significant roles in our story. We would not exist were it not for them and our gratitude doesn’t end when you hang up your hairnet or pack up your desk. Our community of retirees receive annual winter payment which is funded by the Employee Trust’s shareholding.

But it’s more than a cash transaction, with members of the Employee Trust regularly dropping by to check in on our pensioners and a quarterly newsletter delivered to their doors – keeping them up to date with all things Macphie. In turn, their stories of the Macphie years before us are kept very much alive.

In total, over £28,000 has been paid out this year to support the retired workforce.

Meet Adelaide Adelaide was an employee for 18 years and having returned to Glenbervie in during a visit organised by the Employee Trust, she comments on how different things are. “The first thing that struck me was how little paper there is now,” she said. Adelaide started working at Macphie in 1975. “There were no computers. There were typewriters and then eventually word processors. Oh, and the telephones were all different. “I was 42 when I started in the mailroom but I hadn’t worked for 20 years. “It was surprising what you would find out in a mailroom. It was a hub for everything going on. “And oh, what a lovely place it was to work.” We featured Adelaide’s memories on our internal communication channels and retired workforce newsletter – Senior Moments.


CSR Report 2019/20

Communities We have a responsibility to focus on achieving the very best we can in order to create a sustainable legacy for the people and places around us.

Part of our success lies in strengthening the communities from which we employ.

Meet Nicola In 2019, we sponsored local athlete Nicola Ann Bennett to represent Scotland at the World Powerlifting Championships in Slovakia. “I was thrilled to qualify for the world championships but the cost of travelling to these events is high,” said Nicola. “I didn’t think I’d be able to afford the flights and accommodation until Macphie stepped in and offered to cover the cost.” Nicola came second to Caroline Lyonnaise from Canada and has since been invited to compete in the Arnold Sports Festival in Ohio.

Our support for Nicola is just one of over 100 donations made in the last year to support our local communities. It’s written into the Macphie family constitution that we’ll donate a percentage of our profit every year and this year the sum totalled over £8,000.


As well as financial support, all our staff are entitled to take two days paid leave every year to use volunteering for a local project or cause. In the last year, we’ve worked with 14 community initiatives with employees doing everything from sprucing up community gardens to providing first aid training in schools.

CSR Report 2019/20

Pass it on We’re firm believers in sharing what we know and partnering with three local secondary schools, we have run a variety of projects and activities to inspire the next generation.

For the last three years, we’ve been working with Mearns Academy and Mackie Academy in Aberdeenshire and Uddingston Grammar in South Lanarkshire – all less than 10 miles from one of our sites.

We’re one of only two food businesses in the Northeast of Scotland to partner with Developing the Young Workforce – a government-funded organisation aiming to align organisations with schools.

Working with each school, we deliver a range of relevant activity aimed at inspiring careers in the food industry and prepare pupils for the world of work.

New spin on support As well as hosting mock interviews and workshops on how to apply for a job, Macphie has taken a new spin on its support for the next generation. In 2019, Uddingston Grammar installed a washing machine and tumble dryer funded by Macphie.

As part of the school’s strategy to provide practical and emotional support to boost attainment, it has installed the equipment to create a clothing bank for anyone who doesn’t have access to adequate uniform. The store provides discreet access and aims to remove a common barrier to learning and improve self-esteem.


CSR Report 2019/20

In 2019, we launched an enterprise project to help teach young people about business fundamentals and is aimed at pupils struggling to meet the demands of the mainstream curriculum.

Meet the Muffin Men The Muffin Men – also known as Harvey, Kenzie, Kieron and Layton – were just one of the six school groups to have taken part in the enterprise project. The project sees Macphie employees run masterclasses in their specialist areas from finance to quality control, each giving an insight into life in the workplace. Pupils are split into teams and given £20 and a bag of cake mix, with 12 weeks to create their own business and make a profit. They then return to Macphie’s board room to present on their performance.

Between the first three groups to take part, teams made around £100 in profit but class teacher’s said the experience was invaluable. “This project takes our learners out of their comfort zone and gives them something to work towards out with the regular curriculum. As well as getting creative, for some, this is the first insight into the world of work.

Going into a board room and presenting to industry professionals is a daunting prospect but we were once again amazed by the confidence and professionalism of the groups. We wouldn’t be able to offer this experience without the help of Macphie so to have their continued support is incredible.” Janet Duncan, Mackie Academy teacher

Drafting in support As well as funding university scholarships (see page 15), we have extended our support for universities to provide practical experience for students. Working with UDrafter - an online micro-Internship


platform – to tap into local talent. One Aberdeenbased university student has been researching the Macphie family history while gaining relevant experience related to her degree.

CSR Report 2019/20

Macphie for mental health From crocheting to climbing stairs, our workforce has been doing its bit to raise awareness for mental health. With employees selling handmade scarves and taking on marathons and obstacle courses, our teams have helped raise £25,000 for the Scottish Association for Mental Health, with match-funding from the employee trust.

“It has been a privilege working with Macphie. “We cannot thank them enough for their hard work and dedication in raising awareness and vital funds for the mental health cause.” Fiona Lewis, SAMH corporate partnerships manager


CSR Report 2019/20

Looking to the future Continuing to align our efforts with the B Corporation model, the year ahead is about building momentum, leading the change we want to see in the world. The outbreak of coronavirus has made changes to our world that we never could have anticipated. But the importance of togetherness and the fundamentals that B Corporation promotes will be more important than ever before. As our business recovers, we carry forward our plans to expand our socially responsible activity, continuing to embed an ethos of responsibility in everything we do. We’ve been integrating renewable sources of energy into our business for a number of years but we don’t rest on our laurels. Looking to the future, we’re pinning down the next steps to make our business greener. We aim to strengthen our efforts to reduce waste and identify further opportunities to make energy savings. B Corp members around the world have pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and we have high hopes of Macphie achieving this sooner. For the first time, we plan on looking further than our own sites, but how we can support our customers in their efforts to protect the environment. In the year ahead, we plan to launch our new brand, brining a fresher look to market. But it’s no superficial makeover as we move our best-selling product line to bio-based packaging, supporting our supplier as it works towards entirely plastic-free options.


In our communities, we’ll continue to develop our people and those that will follow them. In the year ahead, we plan to deliver more opportunities for the future workforce, providing practical experience to kickstart sustainable careers. We’ve been reporting on our CSR performance since 2017 and will continue to share our progress. We certainly have a lot to celebrate. Our connections to the people and places around us run deep and we recognise that it’s not a case of what business can do to help, but what we must do.

CSR Report 2019/20


Want to know more? Contact: Louise Shankley CSR & engagement executive 01569 740837