Chartered Institute of Marketing event speakers and students

Industry speakers inspire careers in food and farming

speakers and students

Agriculture and food production students gained invaluable advice on planning their futures at an inspirational Q and A session with a panel of industry experts

The event, sponsored by the Food, Drink and Agricultural Group of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and run by the Reaseheath Agricultural Development Academy (RADA) and the College’s agricultural department, attracted 80 students from relevant degrees and Level 3 Diploma programmes.

The panel consisted of Philip Mclaughlin (Agricultural Manager HSBC); Lisa Williams (Senior Consultant, Promar International and Genus plc); David Hall (Northern Manager EBLEX); Hayley Verney (Technical Sales Manager, AllTech) and Richard Ratcliffe (farmer and Vice Chair of Reaseheath Governors). The session was chaired by John Giles, Divisional Director of Promar International and the Chairman of CIM’s Food, Drink and Agricultural Group.

Topics included the range of jobs and careers available, how to launch and build a career, the opportunities available and what employers look for in potential staff. Clear vision, a robust business plan, a critical understanding of the marketplace and a sound grasp of modern technology were among key attributes identified by the panel as being success factors.

Wider discussion ranged from the increasing number of females at management level to the surge in opportunities offered through expanding markets in Eastern Europe and China.

Describing the session as a great success, John Giles said: “It is essential that the agriculture and food production industries engage with talented young people and fire up their enthusiasm as to what they can achieve after studying. There are limitless opportunities in the UK and abroad, not just in farming but in areas such as human resources, finance, market analysis, IT, administration and in the legal field.

“The audience at Reaseheath was full of bright, intelligent and well informed young people and the standard of questions was as high as at any event, anywhere in the country. Every question was relevant and produced interesting and, in some cases, surprising answers from the panel.

“Summing up, we all felt that the students should maximise their academic potential, keep a strong range of softer skills and remain committed to driving their careers forward.”

Harley Sneyd, who is studying for a Foundation Degree in Dairy Herd Management and hopes to specialise in cattle breeding and genetics, said: “The panel were really informative and I gained a real insight into which doors may open for me in the future. I was particularly interested in hearing their views on the future of females in farming, and found the numbers of women in top jobs very inspirational.”

Robert Yardley, a Foundation Degree in Agriculture undergraduate who is looking to progress into management, said: “Although I work on a farm, it has been brilliant learning what is available throughout the farming and food sector. I’ve seen another side to the industry and this will be very useful to me when I come to choosing my career path. The whole event has been really positive and enjoyable.”

Find out more about studying a degree at Reaseheath here.

star students Feb 2015

Top students recognised – students of the month

star students Feb 2015


Level 2 Bakery Group A – Olivia Mannion

My student of the month is a young lady who has handed her theory work in on time and has even finished the following week’s work before being asked! Her cake decorating skills are improving and she tries really hard to get it right first time. Her ideas are original and she is a pleasure to teach. Well Done Olivia!

Level 2 Bakery Group B – Matthew Loton

A very well organised student whose quality of work is always of a very high standard. A student who also brings a lovely sense of humour to the group.

Level 3 Bakery – Rosie Street

Rosie’s work is always to her highest standard and very consistent. She is a pleasure to teach and helps others to complete their tasks and is always one of the last people out of the practical sessions. Rosie has been a section leader and shown great management skills by always getting her team to complete the relevant tasks in time and to a high standard.


Level 2 Butchery – Thomas Jennings

Thomas has excellent punctuality, with attendance 99%. He is always smiling and cheerful in all his classes. His assignments are handed in on time and of excellent standard. His confidence during practical sessions is beginning to shine through and l am sure his fellow students can see this also. He pushes himself forward in classes and gets on with his work quietly working to an excellent standard.

Food Technology

Level 3 Food Technology – Louise Jackson

Louise has been awarded student of the month this time as she is always enthusiastic, handing work in on time and not afraid to ask for help. She is always conscientious and a pleasure to teach.

Santas 1MB

Seasonal food in December


Santas 1MBAt first you might think: “Everything has stopped growing, so there won’t be any seasonal foods in December”… However, it’s a time when traditionally we’d enjoy hot pots made with stews and stored root vegetables.

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat” says the old nursery rhyme. Historically we’d feed animals roots and grains and eat more meat at this time of the year. Foods, like Stargazy Pie, are also traditionally served in December.Butchers and turkeys

Talking of pies, did you know that mince pies originally contained mutton? Oliver Cromwell actually banned mince pies and when they were subsequently reintroduced, it was only at this point that people stopped putting meat into their mincemeat!

Aside from meat, there’s lots of vegetables you can enjoy at this time of the year – try recipes including parsnips, they are a delicious addition to a festive spread.

SproutsIt’s fair to say, when we can smell chestnuts roasting, we think Christmas is not long away…the smell of  clementines and cranberries also bring about a festive aroma, whilst add an extra spot of colour and vitamin C to our diet.

Did you know another festive favourite, brussels sprouts, can taste sweeter and better after a frost? According to this article: “The frequent freezing and thawing of the vegetable leads to complex carbohydrates breaking down into simple sugars. The sprouts also tighten so they are less likely to become soggy when cooked”.

Many varieties of British apples and pears are at their best about now – sweeter than when they were picked, but still crisp.

Pickles made earlier in the year from surplus vegetables should be good now. Also, it’s about the time to try damson or sloe gins if you made any…MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Bill Pearson

Universities OPEN DAY

University Open Day

Universities OPEN DAY

Five universities from across the country recently participated in the Reaseheath Food Centre’s first ever ‘University Open Day’.

The afternoon started with a welcome from Head of Department, Toni-Anne Harrison and this was seamlessly followed with a presentation from Lecturer, Martin Anderson. Martin showcased what Reaseheath College can offer other educational providers from the team of industry experts to state of the art facilities and assistance in research projects. The visitors received a personalised tour of the processing halls to show them the range of equipment and potential use for their students. All Universities were positive and engaged throughout the event. Lillie Pragnell, Business Co-ordinator for the Food Centre said ‘the afternoon ran smoothly and the feedback received was fantastic. I hope the event has been worthwhile and would like to see potential growth in this direction moving forward’.

star students November 2014

Star students

star students November 2014


Take a look below to see our latest star students – nominated each month by our course managers from the food department. Congratulations to you all!


Level 3 Bakery Student – Elysha Emberson

Elysha is always hard-working and prepared to work that extra bit to complete a task. She always works to her best ability and that is shown in her final product. She is a pleasure to teach and deserved this award for a long time. Above all, Elysha is the perfect role model to her peers.

Andy Dale, Course Manager  


Level 2 Bakery Student Group A  –  Katie Brittleton

I have chosen Katie as the Student of the month due to her positive approach to her work. Katie always approaches her tasks in a mature, well organised and methodical manner. She is prepared to take a lead role in group work, whether practical or theory based and is therefore a good role model within the group.

Dave Read, Course Manager 


Level 2 Bakery Student Group B   –  Mia Ward

I have chosen Mia as student of the month; she  has settled really well into Reaseheath life and is a pleasant and helpful member of my class. She has made our newest student Lisa-Marie very welcome and  has produced some fabulous products  (particularly her witches cauldrons!) Well done Mia!

Sam Copeland, Course Manager 


Level 3 Food Tech & Management Student Year 1  –  Alex Clegg

It has been so difficult to pick an outstanding student from a superb group of outstanding individuals, but Alex Clegg  has demonstrated clear approach to her academic studies, has gone the extra mile in her work and is always willing to support the group and coupled with a 100% attendance. Although Alex receives student of the month, I would like to make mention to how well, each individual is doing in their approach to their studies – please keep it up guys!

Level 3 Food Tech & Management Student Year 2  –  Jen Cavell

Jen has always taken a well-rounded approach to her studies, she is delivering outstanding work in bakery theory and sustainability module, a very well deserved student of the month.

 James Blakemore, Course Manager


Level 2 Butchery Student –  Adam Timmis

I have chosen Adam as student of the month because his time keeping is excellent along with his behaviour in classes.  Adam has also previously been awarded ‘student of the week’.  He is very helpful both to me and his fellow students, along with having excellent work ethic and a willingness to learn new skills and improve prior learning. I can see that his butchery skills and confidence are building every week and would be an asset to any future employer.

 Douglas Ewen, Course Manager



Martin  and James with the very smart doorman at their hotel!

Food lecturers’ international trade mission to India

Martin  and James with the very smart doorman at their hotel! Last month James Blakemore and myself (Martin Anderson) attended the International Food Tec India trade show in Mumbai, India,  as part of a UK Trade and Investment delegation, organised by Hull and Humberside Chamber of Commerce.

The purpose of our visit was to explore the potential for collaboration with one of the world’s biggest dairy sectors. As it emerges as an economic superpower, India still finds itself with a very localised dairy market with 85% ‘free milk’ carried in open vessels to be used immediately or boiled at home rather than travelling through a vertically integrated supply chain to a retailer as we might see in the UK.

The exhibition had international pavilions from China, Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Republic of Korea, The Netherlands, Turkey and the UK. A total of 466 exhibitors from over 30 countries presented their products and technologies with 12,007 visitors attending the show over the three days.

The Reaseheath stand received a lot of interest from food and drink businesses from across the Indian sub-continent. There was particular interest in the new Dairy Industry Skills course (DISC) and the EDEN Foundation degree in Dairy Technology with over 30 new international contacts made, including new and existing dairy businesses, potential students and academic partnerships with Indian educational institutions.

James Blakemore chats to a potential customer at the trade show

James Blakemore chats to a potential customer at the trade show

We were made to feel incredibly welcome by all of the people we interacted with and it is apparent that the opportunities for sharing knowledge, developing and delivering consultancy, training and education in both India and the UK is immense.

The trade show seminars were also a great source for knowledge sharing. ‘Future of Milk Based Nutraceuticals’, organised by Indian Dairy Association (West Zone), welcomed as its  Guests of Honour  Prof.  Dr. G. D. Yadav, Vice Chancellor and  Dr. Mrs. Smita Lele, AG Registrar, ICT (Institute of Chemical Technology) and Mr. M. D. Deore, Director – Toxicology, Johnson & Johnson.  Eminent speakers included Mr. A. K. Bayati, GCMMF and Mr. Allan Brunn, Alfa Laval.

‘Packaging Innovations in Pharmaceutical industry’ organised by India Pharma Machinery Manufacturers Association (IPMMA) witnessed delegates like Ms. Neelam Lalwani, General Manager – Packaging, Sun Pharma Industries Pvt. Ltd.,  Mr. Sanjeev Khandelwal, Director Renewable Packaging, Stora Enso India and Mr. Chander Mohan Negi, Asst. General Manager, Akumentis Healthcare Ltd., among others.

We attended a business meeting the day after the trade show with a company that is setting up a

Martin Anderson and James Blakemore on the Reaseheath stand

Martin Anderson and James Blakemore on the Reaseheath stand

brand new dairy in the Mumbai region.  They were really interested in looking at how they might involve training and education for India’s dairy technologists within their new build project and how we might work in partnership to grow programmes like EDEN and DISC to meet the needs of the changing Indian dairy market.

We had an amazing time in one of the world’s busiest cities (21 million people!), sampled some amazing cuisine and travelled in

some of the scariest traffic known to man. I somehow managed to contract Dengue fever and Salmonella at the end of the trip, but it didn’t detract from the success of this international trade mission and now I’m feeling better I’m happy to be a walking case study for my own food safety lectures!

We hope to return soon and to accept visitors from India to Reaseheath in the near future.

Martin Anderson

Lecturer in Food Science




Rosie Swain

Day in the life of an FdSc Food manufacturing with Business management student

FdSc Food Manufacturing with Business management student Rosie Swain shares a little insight into her student life at Reaseheath.

Rosie Swain – a little background information…Rosie Swain

Rosie commented on her time at Reaseheath so far: “The Reaseheath experience is definitely one of the best and facilities are fantastic. Class sizes are small – so you have plenty of support and tutors know who you are and are extremely interested in what they teach.”

Here’s a typical Tuesday for Rosie at Reaseheath: 

7am: Alarm goes off, get dressed. I then go and have breakfast either at the canteen or in the kitchen in my halls. I also have my horse on campus, so I have to go and feed him and change his rugs.

9am: The day at Reaseheath starts with individual tutorials with my Course Manager Lucy Catley, which can be very useful addressing any issues and talking about my progress

10am: First lecture – Food Safety with Lucy Catley – this module focuses on food poisoning, characteristics of common food poisoning pathogens, contamination causes, food safety legislation, cleaning and disinfection procedures, control of pests, importance of personal hygiene and the role of HACCP (Hazard Anaysis and Critical Control Point) based food safety management systems.

12:45pm: Lunchtime – I’ll go to the canteen, the HE Centre or have lunch back in my halls.

1:15pm: Second lecture of the day, it’s time to go to the labs for food science and composition again with our Course Manager Lucy Catley. This module focuses on: principles of chemistry, principles of microbiology, laboratory equipment use, investigative report writing and and an introductio intro to micro and macro nutrients.

4:30pm: Lectures are finished for the day – so it’s time to go back to my halls of residence to get changed. Then I’m off to muck out and ride my horse, Beano.

6pm: Meet friends and go for dinner in canteen.

9pm: Go to the college bar with friends before going into Nantwich for student night!

James and Rachel Wedding

A thoroughly foodie wedding


We are delighted to announce the food department’s  first wedding – James Yuill and  Rachel Frankish, who tied the knot on November 1st .

James joined Reaseheath in Key Stage Four as a young apprentice and Rachel joined the food technology diploma group a couple of years later.

James and Rachel Wedding

James and Rachel cut their wedding cake – designed by cake decorating expert Sam Copeland

They both enrolled on the Foundation Degree in Food Technology with Management at Reaseheath in September 2010 and  their friendship blossomed into romance in January 2011.

James and Rachel WeddingOn October 13th  2012,  James proposed (on bended knee) in front of family and friends at Rachel’s birthday meal. The tears flowed as much as the wine – especially when she accepted!

The whole department waited with anticipation for the wedding date. But they were just too busy studying and researching!  Their studies came to an end though and they both gained their BSc in Food Technology with Management in September 2013. James started a new position at Carton Lodge Cheese and the couple moved to Clitheroe. Rachel has secured a position at Farmers Fayre.

Wedding plans started with gusto and the couple booked Reaseheath Hall for their ceremony. They said they wouldn’t want to be married anywhere else. It was a gorgeous ceremony for two outstanding people who have made Reaseheath proud. The couples family, friends and Reaseheath lecturers attended and a good time was has by all! (and Sam did the cake!!)

We wish James and Rachel all the very best as they start their married life together.

Sam Copeland

Lecturer and Course Manager, Level 2 Diploma Bakery and Patisserie 

If you’re interested in cake decorating and are impressed by Sam’s cake decorating skills – take a look at our new Professional Cake Decorating course starting in February 2015.

James and Rachel Wedding

James and Rachel Wedding


James and Rachel Wedding




abby brown

Catching up with 2014 graduate Abby Brown

abby brownWith demand for food and drink constantly increasing, Abby knows that she has a guaranteed future ahead of her.

Already in her first post-graduate job in new product development with Halewood International, the UK’s largest independent drinks manufacturer, Abby attributes Reaseheath’s links with industry to her success in getting the post.

Abby Brown joined by Sophie Pegg Doug Powley Susie Madden with the Reaseheath RAG (Raising and Giving) mascot

Abby Brown during her time as a student, joined by Sophie Pegg Doug Powley Susie Madden with the Reaseheath RAG (Raising and Giving) mascot

Part of a team creating innovative alcoholic drinks for the Christmas market, Abby draws on the knowledge she gained during her studies such as food safety, nutrition, marketing and product positioning. She comes up with new recipes, helps to run product tastings and looks at market trends (mulled spices and tropical drinks are popular at the moment).

She believes that her BSc top-up and the Foundation Degree in Food Industry with Management, which she completed beforehand prepared her well for the world of work, particularly a realistic challenge by M&S to create a tempting new deli product. Abby and fellow students had to develop their dishes in line with consumer feedback while keeping a strict eye on profit margins, costings, packaging and labour.

Says Abby: “I find that I look much more critically at the ingredients, processing and value of different products. Food is such a varied industry – and it offers a great career path because everyone needs to eat.”

cinnamon 1mb

A foodie playlist

Here’s playlist put together by BSc (Hons) Food Manufacturing with Operations Management  ‘top up’ student, Lee Taylor – with a bit of a foodie theme:

strawberries 1mb

Fisherman, The Congos

Cinnamon Girl, Neil Young 

Milkshake, Kelis

Incense and Peppermints, The Strawberry Alarm Clock

Creamcheese, Zion Train 

 Abbatoir Blues, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

Baby Lemonade, Syd Barrett

Milkcow Calf Blues, Robert Johnson

Hong Kong Garden, Siouxsie & The Banshees 

Baked Jam Roll in Your Eye, Timebox

mini cinnamon

Alan’s Psychedelic breakfast, Pink Floyd

Soup, Can


Why not have a go at creating your own foodie playlist?

Try picking songs with a a festive foodie flavour! Send your best compilations to and we’ll pick the best one to feature on the Food For Thought blog!

Lee Taylor

BSc (Hons) Food Manufacturing with Operations Management