cadbury pic

A delicious week of trips for budding bakers

cadbury pic

Our level 2 bakery and patisserie students have enjoyed a fabulous week of visits across the country, learning all things from chocolate making to cake decoration.

The week began with a trip to Cake International at Event City in Manchester, followed by a delicious tour of Cadbury World, moving on to Ludlow Food Centre and Bunbury Mill. We even had a sneaky trip to Snugburys for an ice-cream…as it was en route (well it would be rude not to!).  Finally, a demonstration from the professional Sugarcraft decorator, Lindy Smith rounded off this brilliant week perfectly.

Students have seen chocolate tempering demonstrations, had a go at new sugar craft techniques, watched  royal icing experts showcase their skills, discovered the traditional methods of milling flour, eaten lots of chocolate and argued over the best flavour at Snugburys!

A fabulous week of interesting activities and learning was had by all.

Sam Copeland




butchery students Weddel Swift 1 MB

Future butchers gain industry insight

butchery students Weddel Swift 1 MB

A fantastic study trip for our professional butchery students, visiting the meat wholesale company Weddel Swift.

Based in Chester, the company pulled out all the stops for the visit, with two of their managers and one of the directors taking the time to share their industry knowledge and experience with our future butchers.

Students were taken round the depot in groups to help illustrate to them the different aspects of meat distribution processes. The students and Weddel staff got a real buzz from the visit and a free lunch thrown in – what a brilliant day!

For more information on our Level 2 Professional Butchery course visit the college website.

Douglas Ewen

Butcher Lecturer


Issue 3 student Denmarl trip

Food students on tour

Issue 3 student Denmarl trip

On Friday 28th March, eleven of the Year 2 Food Technology students set off on a 26 hour journey across a calm North Sea to Denmark. This ten day adventure was to be packed with interesting visits and exciting views. Though the ferry crossing was a smooth one there was bound to be some ups and downs along the way…

Saturday 29th March

We drove into Esbjerg at around 13:00, a small but beautiful little town not far from where the ferry dropped us off. The majority of the group headed straight for the nearest McDonalds; the rest of the afternoon was spent sightseeing and relaxing. We checked into our first hotel, Hotel Ansgar, where the question on everyone’s lips was “Hvad er wifi adgangskode?” (What’s the Wifi password?).

Sunday 30th March

We prepared for a very interesting journey down to Copenhagen, some of us feeling a little peculiar after the curious Danish Chinese meal we shared the previous night. In order to get to Copenhagen we had to cross the Great Belt Bridge (Storebaeltsbroen), the third longest suspension bridge outside of Asia stretching approximately 4 miles. The view was a little hazy but it was spectacular all the same.denmark bridge

We arrived in Copenhagen at lunch time and spent the afternoon looking around the city before going out for a nice group meal in the evening, this time opting for a Tex-Mex themed restaurant.

Monday 31st March

After a lovely continental breakfast in the Imperial Hotel, Copenhagen, we packed up and set off over the Oresund Bridge to Sweden. We travelled to Lund where we visited Tetra Pak Headquarters; they were very welcoming and showed us around the factory where they produce food manufacturing equipment, we were especially impressed with the automatic pipe bending machine and their snazzy steel toe capped shoe covers. Afterwards we made our way back over the bridge to our hotel in Odense.

Tuesday 1st April

An early start this morning as we set off to Kold College.  The college is closely linked with Reaseheath and were also very hospitable. We were given a talk about what the Kold does and were then shown around their food manufacturing facilities, which are very different to ours. In the afternoon we took a long and winding journey to our first Arla factory where we met up with Michal Brzysk, an Eden student at Reaseheath. The factory produces many types of hard cheeses and we were shown a bird’s eye view of the process from milk intake to final product and packaging, we didn’t get to take any product home, however, we did leave with a very cheesy aroma.

Issue 3 Denmark students tripWednesday 2nd April

After a good night’s sleep at the Hotel Royal in Holstebro we decided to head down to our final hotel in Billund. Today we had a free day, so after much debate we decided to go shopping. After an afternoon of retail therapy and relaxation we went back to our Hotel Sdr. Omme Kro and together had our evening meal of steak and chips.


Thursday 3rd April

We drove a long way to Rodkaersbro to visit our second Arla plant and Eden student Jess Davies. We had a tour around the factory where they made mozzarella cheese and the air was a lot more breathable. Afterwards we were given a talk about lean manufacturing –  how to produce less waste and maintain product value. Afterwards we ambled back to our hotel in Billund where we had dinner together, steak and chips again!

Friday 4th April

Issue 3 denmark study trip

This morning we went to Aarhus (Pronounced: our house) to visit Arla Headquarters. We were all amazed at the beauty of the building consisting of lush green furnishings, glass sculptures, grand pianos and its own herd of cows. In the afternoon we had a look around the area, we visited a little village of Old Danish buildings and another shopping centre. In the evening we celebrated our last evening in Denmark with a meal of, you guessed it, steak and chips in the hotel and a drink in the local pub.

Saturday 5th April

We packed up all our things and slowly made our way back to Esbjerg where we had a last look around the town before setting sail and heading home.

A huge thanks to:

  • Damien Murphy and Penny Masters for joining us on the trip and for coping with us for ten days. We hope we didn’t annoy you too much.
  • our Course tutor James Blakemore for organising all of our visits, we know it couldn’t have been easy but it came together well in the end.

We would like to say a very special thank you to Bernard Lloyd for his financial contribution and for making this trip happen. We all enjoyed our trip to Denmark very much and the only down side is that it had to come to an end.

trolley Marks and Spencer - issue 3

Students visit Marks and Spencer Head Office

trolley Marks and Spencer - issue 3

Recently, we had the great opportunity of visiting the Marks and Spencer head office. On arrival we were greeted by Barbara Ross, who works closely with the New Product Development and Buying side of Marks and Spencer. We also met other members of the team, these included, a graduate Product Developer and a graduate Technologist.

After a number of really interesting talks we attended a particularly exciting  meeting that discussed current trends within the industry. In addition to this, we met with buyers and suppliers and we were able to taste and give our own opinion of the new products that would be launched on Marks and Spencer’s shelves later on this year… unfortunately all the products were top secret so you will just have to wait to find out what they were!

After all that wonderful tasting of new products it was time to head off to meet a few more team members.

After a thoroughly enjoyable and informative day it was time to return home, luckily we got one of the last trains home otherwise we might have been stuck! It later transpired that fortune had favoured our timing as later that day adverse weather conditions caused massive train delays.

This opportunity gave us a small  insight into the workings of Marks and Spencer and a great insight in to how we can further our career in an ever evolving industry.

Imogen Johnson, Charlotte Reed and Abigail Brown

Cake International

Cake International 2014

Cake International

As a group, we visited Cake International  at Event City, Manchester. We all had a fabulous time experiencing lots of tutorials throughout the show and bought a host of cake decorating related products and devices to help us practise at home. Witnessing rows and rows of decorated cakes has given us lots of inspiration for future cake and bakes.

We were lucky enough to meet the baking queen herself Mary Berry, along with inspiring professional cake decorators Lindy Smith and Mich Turner. The opportunity to sample a range of sweet treats at the exhibitor stands and share the day with group of friends passionate about cake decorating made the day all the more enjoyable. 

Elysha Emberson, Level 2 Bakery


Grant Richards visit to morrisons smaller

Morrisons meat processing plant

Grant Richards visit to morrisons smaller

On the 6th March, I travelled down to a Morrison’s meat processing plant at Spalding, Lincolnshire, with a former butcher – Simon Lynes Hoyland. With many years experience in the meat industry; he was the ideal man to go with. The start to the day was an early one, leaving the house at 5:00am. Having arrived at the processing plant, built in 2006, it was clear to see the mass scale of meat production that happened there. It produces only fresh, British meat and some 40% of Morrison’s meat will be produced at the plant in Spalding. The plant has a base of 700 farmers that supply to them, 100 of these farmers are actually situated in Spalding itself. 

We started with beef production; from slaughter to de-boning and packing, ready for sale. 60 cattle per hour were slaughtered there and it takes 14 minutes for them to have them ready for de-boning and portioning. Next we moved onto pork slaughter; these were done at 400 per hour, visibly it was faster and only took around 5 minutes from slaughter ready for de-boning. From the day it was clear that it was a slick, smooth operation and everyone was extremely well trained and knew exactly what to do.

Although the day was an early start, it gave me a great insight into what goes on at a meat processing plant on a mass scale.  I would like to thank the food department for the opportunity to go and see mass-scale butchery in action. 

Grant Richards, Level 3 Food Technology and Management

visit to Patak's

Visit to Patak’s

visit to Patak's

“On the Thursday before we broke up for Christmas, 11 Level 3 Food Technology & Management year 2 students along with three members of staff embarked on a trip to AB World Foods in Leigh, near Wigan. The purpose of the trip was to see a range of our modules, from sustainability to HACCP in action – putting theory into practice! Patak’s, the famous curry sauce manufacturer, is the main brand that operates there. We saw how they implement robotics to manufacture and package poppadoms.

We met the factory/site manager, the technical manager and also the continuous improvement manager. They told us about their job roles and what they do on a daily basis. We were shown the start of the production line right through to the finish of it. We saw how they manufacture chutneys, to sauces, to spices. We also got to dine in the Spice Café! No curry sadly – they must be sick of the sight of it. The end of the day came far too fast, ending with a trip to the staff shop and a big bag of freebies.”

Paul Roberts
Level 3 Food Technology & Management (Year 2)

As Paul’s report shows, it was a great visit, with the managers taking a lot of time to show the group around. Paul very kindly didn’t mention the many three-point turns we had to make in the minibus as the Sat Nav didn’t have the latest new roads close to the factory.

 If you have been on a visit, please do write up a report and send it to to be featured in next month’s Food Department newsletter.