> Monthly Archives: June 2016

Abel & Cole’s unique way to educate on bee necessity


The ethical food business, which sells organic food nationwide, is working with sustainable beehive management company Plan Bee Ltd and expects to welcome up to 180,000 honeybees Our organic home delivery service Abel & Cole has welcomed 60,000 honeybees to its offices in Wimbledon as part of its commitment to educating people about the importance of bees and other pollinators.

Abel & Cole is working with sustainable beehive management company Plan Bee Ltd and expects to welcome up to 180,000 honeybees this summer – each of the three hives is capable of pollinating an area of densely packed fruit trees the size of Wembley!

Claudia Ruane, from Abel & Cole, said: “There was a distinct lack of pets in our office, and as no one could agree on cats or dogs, I thought thousands of bees would settle it. Seriously though, organic farming plays such a phenomenally crucial role in protecting biodiversity and, whilst we may not be farmers ourselves, we can still play a positive part in sustainable food systems. By offering a home to honeybees in our little bit of south west London, we can help educate each other and everyone in the Abel & Cole community of the important role they, and other pollinators play.

“Bees are crucial for biodiversity, they are responsible for pollinating a third of the food that we eat. Since 2010 we’ve run a few projects to raise awareness with customers about the decline in pollinator populations, and having bees move in here is the next really exciting step. We’re also looking to create pollinator palaces at each of our eight depots to make sure all Abel & Colers have the chance to do their bit to help solitary bees, bumblebees and other bugs thrive.”

Quite a lot of bees   Hives in their new home


A bee shower




Abel & Cole launch organic gluten-free pizzas

Our organic home delivery company Abel & Cole is launching a range of organic gluten-free pizzas to customers nationwide in a new partnership with The White Rabbit Pizza Company.

The unique pizzas are made by hand in White Rabbit’s dedicated pizza kitchen in Oxfordshire and will be available to order through Abel & Cole from June 23.

David Balmer, our Buying and Development Director at Abel & Cole, said: “We work primarily with small suppliers and they never fail to amaze me with their wealth of wonderfully innovative products for our customers to try, and The White Rabbit Pizza Company is no different with their organic gluten-free pizzas which taste amazing. We’re delighted to be able to help them reach more customers and thrilled to offer such great pizzas to our customers.”

The range, made in a 10” 300g size for Abel & Cole, currently includes two pizza bases (£3.99), Margerita (£4.99), Americana (chorizo and onion £5.99), Italiana (cherry tomatoes, ham, goats’ cheese and basil £5.99) and Regina (goats’ cheese and caramelised onions). An organic gluten-free vegan pizza with vegan mozzarella is expected to join the range really soon.


Aunt Bessie’s launches two new additions to its frozen portfolio

Aunt Bessie’s has launched two new additions to its frozen portfolio: Carvery Style Yorkshires and Sweet Potato Chips, both launching in Sainsbury’s on 6 June.

The Yorkshire puddings are larger and more rustic than similar products, and come in a 220g pack of four. Brand manager, Katy Hamblin, said: “They’re so simple and quick to cook, and look amazing. They’re a premium product, different to anything else on the market right now.”

Following the launch of wedges in January and jackets in March this year, Aunt Bessie’s has now added chips to its sweet potato range. 

“We’re always looking to develop something new for shoppers to try, and our research showed a real opportunity for branded frozen sweet potato products,” said marketing director Lorraine Rothwell.

“Sweet potato offers something a little bit different and also has health benefits: it’s one of your 5 a day, it’s gluten-free, and it’s high in fibre.”

Saying thank you this Volunteers’ Week

This week is Volunteers’ Week 2016 and we’d like to say a huge thank you to our many volunteers who have taken part in our Bicentenary Tree Project over the past three years in Hull.

The aim of the project is to make Hull a greener city and by the time William Jackson Food Group reaches its 200th anniversary in 2051 we’re hoping to have planted 200,000 trees.

So far more than 100 volunteers from Hull, including our own colleagues from Aunt Bessie’s and our bakery Jacksons, have planted 21,000 trees. We’ve been joined by school children, colleagues from Hull City Council, Yorkshire Bank, Arco, St Stephens Shopping Centre and conservation charity TCV – and they’ve been amazing.

And it’s not just tree planting our great colleagues have taken part in – in recent months we’ve dressed up as superheroes to help local Cash4Kids charity, delivered Aunt Bessie’s cakes to a nursing home in Hull, helped school pupils develop their business knowledge with an Aunt Bessie’s pie challenge, helped out at Wigan Youth Zone, and collected and helped distribute Christmas presents for disadvantaged children in Hull.

All colleagues are offered one day a year to volunteer on full pay and each year our dedicated colleagues put their heart and soul into making the community in which we work and live a better place to be.


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Newland St John tree planting