Wow, this year is whizzing by! No doubt some of you will already be making products for the Christmas market . After all, it’s only about 200 days away… Anyway, less of that! I haven’t been on my summer holidays yet. Here’s a round-up of what’s been happening at Verner Wheelock over the past month.
The Annual Trainers’ Meeting
I could be forgiven for thinking I’d walked onto the set of the Great British Bake Off a couple of weeks ago. True , there was no sign of Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood or Mel & Sue; but there was certainly an abundance of cake. Around 7 different varieties of it in fact.
Our lovely trainers Colleen and Jo obviously felt we needed feeding up and had had been busy in their respective kitchens . They didn’t just come to deliver cake though – it was our annual Trainers’ Meeting, where we discuss new course ideas, any improvements/updates to existing courses and so forth.
We have 17 trainers who work for Verner Wheelock, so it’s good to get as many as possible together at least once a year. There was plenty of information to exchange and ,of course, plenty to eat…
We invited prolific EU blogger and Brexit expert Richard North to speak at the trainers’ meeting. Richard’s particular interest is in how Brexit will affect the food industry. He made some very interesting points highlighting the fact that Britain will be treated as a ‘Third Country’ when we exit the EU. This means that there will be no more free trade.
If we wish to continue to trade with EU countries we will need to negotiate separate trade agreements and be subject to border control checks of products and documentation. This could cause severe delays. At present 12,000 trucks pass through Dover and the Channel Tunnel per day. If this were suddenly halted there would be a queue stretching back as far as Aberdeen.
According to Richard, the cost of a detained container could be anything from £800 to £2000 once demurrage, inspection fees, labour fees, re-packing fees are taken into consideration. It could mean that some companies are put out of business.
If you want to find out more about Richard’s (sometimes controversial) views, take a look at his daily blog at www.eureferendum.com
Specialist courses for butchers
It being Spring Bank Holiday we only ran courses here in Skipton during two weeks in May, but we still kept our trainers busy with 13 in-house courses. Several of these took place north of the border in Scotland – including our Meat Managers’ Hygiene & HACCP course. We run this course 2-3 times a year on behalf of the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association (SFMTA). It is tutored by Paul Bache, who has an MBE for his services to the meat industry.
Another great result for Lead Auditors
We’re delighted to report that, once again, we have had a 100% pass rate for our FDQ Lead Auditor course. The course took place from 8-11 May under the tutelage of Eleanor Nicholls. Not only that, but there were 2 distinctions too. Huge congratulations to Brandon Green from Ornua Nutrition Ingredients and Craig Darby from Samworth Brothers, who both achieved over 90% in their examinations.
Our FDQ Lead Auditor course is proving so popular that we are now running two courses in October. They’re filling up fast, so if you’d like to attend, please give Claire a call on 01756 700802.
Verner Wheelock now a member of APSCA
Did you know that as well as providing top-quality training to the food industry, Verner Wheelock also undertakes ethical trading audits?
We work, in conjunction with a business called KSSA, auditing suppliers to many of the major retailers. The audit checks that workers’ human and labour rights are not compromised – for example, ensuring that their working environment and pay is acceptable according to the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code.
Verner Wheelock is one of a handful of third-party audit companies that conducts these ethical assessments in the UK. We have just been accepted as a member of the Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA). APSCA aspires to enhance the credibility, quality, consistency and professionalism of social compliance audits which will contribute to the improvement of workplace conditions.
To find out more about ethical audits, please visit www.vwa.co.uk/ethical
Bowling, bowling, bowling….
At the end of April Team VWA descended on the 10 pin bowling hall in Skipton for a work social evening. There were a few strikes and more than a few spares – and we all had great fun. The ultimate champion was Amberley, who beat nearest rivals Mitch and Rachel C by 20 clear points. Then it was off into town to Calico Jack’s for drinks and a huge meal, which made some of us feel as heavy as a bowling ball…
We still have a few places left on the following June courses:
Supplier Auditing – 14th June
HACCP Refresher – 15th June
Level 4 Food Safety Update – 16th June
VACCP & TACCP Workshop – 22nd June
Training the Trainer – 28& 29th June, 5&6 July