> Monthly Archives: March 2017

In the kitchen with Jamie Oliver

Well done to our Abel & Cole MD Hannah Shipton who took part in the first UK CEO Cook Off, which raised more than £500,000 for charity. Here she is pictured at the event on Tuesday night with chef Jamie Oliver.

The money raised will go to UK Harvest, which saves quality surplus food from going to landfill and redistributes it to people in need, and food education schemes across the UK via the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.

Hannah did amazingly well and cooked three delicious courses. Her efforts raised almost £11,000 and were supported by WJFG’s Charity Committee.


A whistle-stop performance for Bude Park Primary

Lovely to join pupils from Bude Park Primary School in Hull this week to watch Opera North’s Whistle-stop Opera performance of Hansel and Gretel.

The Whistle-stop Opera is a special bite-sized performance created by Opera North to reach places other operas can’t, bringing the big shows to smaller stages. The mini opera includes the original music from the larger Hansel and Gretel show arranged for a small ensemble.

The cast, consisting of only four actors and one accordion player, managed to compact all of the excitement from the original performance, that is over two hours long, into one half an hour jam packed show, filled with surprises and lots of interaction with the audience of parents, teachers and pupils.

We’re proud to be the main sponsor of Opera North’s Singing School based at Bude Park Primary since it opened in 2014. The school is a flagship arts education programme focusing on the power of singing to change lives.

The performance was an amazing opportunity for students of the Singing School to see what they had learnt brought to life in their own school hall.

Pictured: Students at Bude Park watching the performance on Monday 20 March



Yorkshire Farmers visit our Aunt Bessie’s factory to see their wheat turned into Yorkshire Puddings

12 Yorkshire-based farmers, along with 5 representatives from grain marketing specialists and millers, visited our Aunt Bessie’s factory in Hull recently  to witness first-hand how their locally grown wheat is turned into the brand’s  famous frozen Yorkshire Puddings.

The factory tour, hosted by our Sustainability Director, Gavin Milligan, and led by Sustainable Futures, is part of a rapidly growing initiative to improve the sustainability of food and drink by linking global brands, food processors and farmers together along the supply chain.

The Aunt Bessie’s tour is one of several ‘Walk the Supply Chain’ events delivered by Sustainable Futures for its project partners which includes over 120 farmers and major manufacturers including, William Jackson Food Group.  Sustainable Futures engages with farmers to share knowledge, best practice and innovative solutions that benefit the farms environmentally whilst reducing costs and generating profitable yields, year after year.

Steve Cann, a Co-Director of the Sustainable Futures project said, “We are really pleased our farming partners had the opportunity to see where the crops they grow are ultimately used further down the chain. The Sustainable Futures ‘Walk the Supply Chain’ events create strong working relationships and a better understanding of the challenges faced by other supply chain partners. The shared understanding helps to create a more sustainable & resilient future for the UK’s food and drink industry”.

We joined Sustainable Futures as a partner in 2015 with a view to further improving relationships with local suppliers and developing initiatives to improve productivity while conserving resources for generations to come.

Gavin said: “We’re a responsible business and we’re proud to work closely with our suppliers and growers. The whole industry must work together to continually look for ways to ensure a sustainable future and we’re very pleased to be part of the Sustainable Futures initiative.”

New Abel & Cole organic passata inspired by waste tomatoes

Our organic grocery business Abel & Cole has launched a new own-label passata, making the most of their Sicilian grower’s over-ripe cherry tomatoes.

Abel & Cole’s Buying Director, David Balmer, said: “We were out in Sicily visiting one of our tomato growers and saw some out-of-spec-tomatoes sitting beside the punnet line. They were a bit over ripe but perfectly fit to eat and our grower Vittoria Gona would have used them himself, but we thought what a great idea it would be to make our own passata with them.

“The cherry tomatoes are deliciously sweet and cooked with a little olive oil and salt, make the perfect passata which we are selling in a little beer bottle. It’s a beautifully artisan foodie product which helps our grower get the most from his crop and reduce potential waste.

“Working with our growers in this way is a real speciality for us – we’re keen to help them develop, grow with them, and work together on great ways to delight our customers with something new and different to try.”