As 2017 is drawing to a close and the New Year is fast approaching, we’ve been thinking about what a successful year we’ve had here at Meadow Foods…
Back in May, a team of twelve tough Meadow employees and friends took on the Cumbrian Challenge to raise money for Walking With The Wounded. The team climbed the grueling mountains of the Lake District – including Helvelyn – in what can only be described as less than ideal weather conditions! Battling through the wind and the rain and scaling 4500m over 70km, the three teams were lead by our very own Paula Cowmen, Damian McDonald and David Farrer.
This was the fourth year which we entered the challenge, and we’re proud to support Walking With The Wounded – a fantastic organisation that supports all veterans with physical, mental or social injuries in order to help re-integrate them into society and develop new careers for their long-term wellbeing. And we were even more proud to say that we raised an incredible £3,200.
The Cumbrian Challenge wasn’t the only time that our fantastic Meadow team rallied together to raise both money and awareness for a worthy cause. In August, James Boulton organised a charity football match and auction evening in honour of his father Mark – a dedicated Meadow Foods employee of over 30 years who was sadly diagnosed with Prostate cancer earlier this year.
Shop floor staff plated office staff at Mold Alexandra FC football ground on Mark’s 60th birthday, and the shop floor scooped a victory with an impressive 8-3 win after a tough match. A whopping £4,065 was raised at the auction evening – a truly incredible feat which supporters should be truly proud of. The funds were split between the Shooting Star ward at Wrexham Maelor Hospital and Prostate Cancer UK.
Returning to July, we were delighted to have our Crème Fraiche win the ‘Gold Award’ at the International Cheese Awards held at the annual Nantwich Show. The awards are the premier in the industry, and the largest in Europe – with 250 cheese experts involved in the judging of more than 5,000 cheese and dairy products. That wasn’t our only win either – our Low Fat Soft Cheese also won a Bronze Award. To have our products recognised in such a prestigious competition is truly incredible, and a great way to highlight the quality of our value added dairy ingredients.
The next month then brought more business success to the company – in August we announced that we had acquired Fayrefield Liquids, a step towards fulfilling our strategic objective of growing the business through organic expansion and acquisition. We have had a close trading relationship with Fayrefield over many years, and we have spent many months meeting producers and customers to introduce the business and welcome them to Meadow Foods.
Finally, towards the end of the year we were delighted to welcome new team member to the Meadow family. In the Autumn Ian Critchley was appointed as our new Farm Liaison Manager for the North, and Jon Walsh joined the team as Group Commercial Director. Ian has responsibility for the recruitment of new dairy farmers, as well as supporting our existing producers, across Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and brought with him nearly two decades of dairy farm management experience. Jon has responsibility for the company’s Growth Strategy, new product development and further developing our marketing strategy. Jon’s appointment was well timed as we opened our Customer Innovation Centre shortly after, a brand new bespoke space dedicated to developing new products and showcasing our dairy ingredients to new and existing customers.
Well, it’s certainly been a busy year here at Meadow Foods – and we’re very much looking forward to seeing what 2018 will have on store for us.