Chef's Delight

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Chef's Delight's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Chef's Delight is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.chefsdelight.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | HEMSWELL COLDSTORE
Astheworld market has evolved, we
have tried to tap into it. Many of our
customers are people I have been
dealing with for many years, so when
an individual moves, they bring new
opportunities to us. Expanding our
profile and ensuring that we are a
global business have not always been
easy, but I have always been clear
in my own mind that tapping into a
worldwide supply chain is essential for
any food business.
Transitioning to renewable
energy
The two main issues we face are
recruitment and the price we have to
pay for energy. The cost of energy,
which we are immediately affected by,
is often extremely volatile. In order to
circumvent this fluctuation, we entered
into discussions with a company who
were seeking to construct an anaerobic
digestion plant on the site. The idea
was to construct a plant that would
be able to provide us with totally
renewable energy. In September 2016,
construction was completed, and we
began to buy our energy from them.
The plant generates 3.6 megawatts
per day, and this has benefitted us in a
myriad of ways. Beyond the tax savings
we have achieved for switching to
renewable energy, we now have lower
energy prices, providing us with an
advantage in our market. Additionally,
our energy prices have not risen in the
three years we have been working
with the company. This price stability
allows us to offer more-stable prices
to our own customers, increasing
our commercial competitiveness and
allowing us to invest in infrastructure
without needing loans.
Our struggle to recruit staff and train
them sufficiently will likely be made
more difficult by Brexit. Around
50 per cent of our employees are
European economic migrants, so we
may be impacted by any changes to
their rights. In order to reduce the
potential impact this may have, we
have invested heavily in our staff and
their training. We have given every
member of staff a four per cent pay
rise every January for five consecutive
years, alongside generous bonuses. We
also make sure our staff have access to
the best equipment; in order to retain
our trained workers, we have to make
the working environment as attractive
aspossible.
We are continually searching for
customers who want to reach out.
Over the last few months, I have been
meeting with companies who want
us to support them through the Brexit
process. Over the next three years,
we are endeavouring to increase our
turnover by 50 per cent. This will be
achieved by utilising our capacity to
freeze as much product as possible,
securing the necessary equipment and
ensuring we have a sufficient supply
of energy. By improving our own
processes, we are able to make our
clients more competitive and sustain
our attractiveness and success into
thefuture.
Over the next
three years we
are
endeavouring
to increase
our turnover
by 50 per
cent
Well-trained staff
operating the right
equipment is essential
29CHEF’S DELIGHT |
FOOD & DRINK
Managing Director
MalcolmGolding
Fresh mixed squash from
Chef’s Delight
Based in Wiltshire, Chef’s Delight is a distributor of fresh
produce supplying to locations across the M4 region.
The company is characterised by its combination of
having a small family business feel, while also providing the
expertise and professionalism of a larger firm. This is because
Managing Director Malcolm Golding previously worked for
one of the most recognised fruit and vegetable distributors
in the UK. Since its founding, the company has moved from
strength to strength, but Malcolm nevertheless reports
significant challenges in the industry related to Brexit – which
is particularly problematic for a sector whose companies are
so closely aligned economically. He tells
The Parliamentary
Review
more about the company and the shifts occurring
within thesector.
Although I established my company in 2007, I have been working in this
industry for decades. Prior to starting Chef’s Delight, I worked for a leading
fruit and vegetable distributor at a director level. Due to internal structural
changes in the company, I had to leave and look for work elsewhere. However,
with my decades’ worth of experience, knowledge and contacts, I believed
I could go my own way and offer my own competitive service. I did so in
Wiltshire, which is where the story of Chef’s Delight began. Very quickly after I
started the company, I built a reputation as a reliable distributor – a reputation
that continues to thisday.
FACTS ABOUT
CHEF’S DELIGHT
»Managing Director:
MalcolmGolding
»Established in 2007
»Based in Wiltshire
»Services: Fresh produce for the
catering industry
»Malcolm started the business
with his wife, Kinga
Chef’s Delight
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | CHEF’S DELIGHT
Knowing what we do best
In addition to supplying fresh fruit and
vegetables, my company also supplies
– albeit on a lesser scale – prepared
food, frozen food, dry goods and dairy
products. Our clientele are typically
hotels and restaurants, and for them
we provide something like a one-stop-
shop solution. This is because our
supply chain is flexible; depending on
the needs of the situation, we’ll source
internationally, nationally or locally. By
having these three options at hand,
we can make sure we have the best-
quality produce all year round.
In terms of our geographical spread,
we deliver below the M4. This includes
a lot of the big towns and cities, like
Winchester, Salisbury, Basingstoke and
Bristol – in other words, a good cross-
section of south England.
One of the truly distinctive features of
Chef’s Delight is that although we’re
a small family business with a personal
touch, we also have the high-end
expertise of a large firm as a result of
my vast experience working for one of
the top companies in the sector. Our
customers therefore receive levels of
service that are almost second to none.
Indeed, the majority of our customer
base has been with us since the earliest
days of our business. Roughly 40 per
cent of our business, at the time of
writing this article, has been with us
for over eight years. This repeat custom
reflects the level of satisfaction that
our customers have with our service.
Brexit: a tough time for the
industry
One of the problems we face in the
industry at present is that the country
as a whole isn’t performing well, and
that is especially true within our sector.
I speak here of pubs and restaurants,
many of which are struggling to
make ends meet – many, indeed,
are going out of business. From my
conversations with people, I’ve learnt
that there’s very little support across
the board. This problem is worse for
small independent businesses than it
is for large chains. Because we are so
aligned with each other, their success
is our success, and their failure is our
failure too.
One of the reasons for this downturn
is, it seems, the 2016 referendum.
Since that time, the entire industry has
Left: Bunched heritage
carrots
Right: Malcolm’s wife and
fellow director, Kinga
Our customers
therefore
receive levels
of service that
are almost
second to
none
31CHEF’S DELIGHT |
FOOD & DRINK
slowed down. Fewer and fewer people
are making advanced bookings, as
many people are sitting on their money
until they find out what happens with
respect to Brexit.
Another issue concerning Brexit is
staffing: the EU provided the UK with
a vast pool of talent to draw from.
Nowadays, however, the industry is
struggling to find chefs, kitchen porters
and staff in similar roles. We now find,
therefore, that chefs are performing
tasks that they normally wouldn’t,
because there simply aren’t enough
people to staff kitchens. This, it’s
worth repeating, is because EU citizens
are deciding the UK is no longer an
attractive option in terms of work.
There is no easy fix for this, but one
of the problems we face as a country
is that our young people are unwilling
to do certain types of jobs. Early starts,
occasionally unsociable hours, hard
work – this can all sometimes be too
much for young people. The job centre
leaves a lot to be desired with regard
to this issue.
It’s also worth mentioning a difficulty
relating to the payment side of things.
Ever since the government enacted a
bill that allowed debts to go unpaid
(under the condition that the borrower
cannot borrow for five years), there
have been businesses that start up,
make money and then fold without
paying suppliers. We were a victim
of this last year with a pub start-up,
which carried out a fraud of just this
kind and then, without paying us,
disappeared and went on holiday. This
is more common than people think.
The long-term view
Looking to the future, I remain
optimistic. As a company, we are
fortunate in that we are a small,
agile company with relatively low
overheads. In these times, I would not
like to be a large player in the industry.
Indeed, I anticipate more and more
hotels and restaurants failing over the
comingmonths.
Here at Chef’s Delight, it’s important
that we continue to uphold our
professionalism and high standards.
This, ultimately, is what goes
rewarded in this industry, and it will
be the reason for our success as we
moveforward.
EU citizens are
deciding the
UK is no
longer an
attractive
option in terms
of work
Left: Edible flowers
Centre: San Marzano
tomatoes
Right: Wild asparagus
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | CHEF’S DELIGHT
Knowing what we do best
In addition to supplying fresh fruit and
vegetables, my company also supplies
– albeit on a lesser scale – prepared
food, frozen food, dry goods and dairy
products. Our clientele are typically
hotels and restaurants, and for them
we provide something like a one-stop-
shop solution. This is because our
supply chain is flexible; depending on
the needs of the situation, we’ll source
internationally, nationally or locally. By
having these three options at hand,
we can make sure we have the best-
quality produce all year round.
In terms of our geographical spread,
we deliver below the M4. This includes
a lot of the big towns and cities, like
Winchester, Salisbury, Basingstoke and
Bristol – in other words, a good cross-
section of south England.
One of the truly distinctive features of
Chef’s Delight is that although we’re
a small family business with a personal
touch, we also have the high-end
expertise of a large firm as a result of
my vast experience working for one of
the top companies in the sector. Our
customers therefore receive levels of
service that are almost second to none.
Indeed, the majority of our customer
base has been with us since the earliest
days of our business. Roughly 40 per
cent of our business, at the time of
writing this article, has been with us
for over eight years. This repeat custom
reflects the level of satisfaction that
our customers have with our service.
Brexit: a tough time for the
industry
One of the problems we face in the
industry at present is that the country
as a whole isn’t performing well, and
that is especially true within our sector.
I speak here of pubs and restaurants,
many of which are struggling to
make ends meet – many, indeed,
are going out of business. From my
conversations with people, I’ve learnt
that there’s very little support across
the board. This problem is worse for
small independent businesses than it
is for large chains. Because we are so
aligned with each other, their success
is our success, and their failure is our
failure too.
One of the reasons for this downturn
is, it seems, the 2016 referendum.
Since that time, the entire industry has
Left: Bunched heritage
carrots
Right: Malcolm’s wife and
fellow director, Kinga
Our customers
therefore
receive levels
of service that
are almost
second to
none
31CHEF’S DELIGHT |
FOOD & DRINK
slowed down. Fewer and fewer people
are making advanced bookings, as
many people are sitting on their money
until they find out what happens with
respect to Brexit.
Another issue concerning Brexit is
staffing: the EU provided the UK with
a vast pool of talent to draw from.
Nowadays, however, the industry is
struggling to find chefs, kitchen porters
and staff in similar roles. We now find,
therefore, that chefs are performing
tasks that they normally wouldn’t,
because there simply aren’t enough
people to staff kitchens. This, it’s
worth repeating, is because EU citizens
are deciding the UK is no longer an
attractive option in terms of work.
There is no easy fix for this, but one
of the problems we face as a country
is that our young people are unwilling
to do certain types of jobs. Early starts,
occasionally unsociable hours, hard
work – this can all sometimes be too
much for young people. The job centre
leaves a lot to be desired with regard
to this issue.
It’s also worth mentioning a difficulty
relating to the payment side of things.
Ever since the government enacted a
bill that allowed debts to go unpaid
(under the condition that the borrower
cannot borrow for five years), there
have been businesses that start up,
make money and then fold without
paying suppliers. We were a victim
of this last year with a pub start-up,
which carried out a fraud of just this
kind and then, without paying us,
disappeared and went on holiday. This
is more common than people think.
The long-term view
Looking to the future, I remain
optimistic. As a company, we are
fortunate in that we are a small,
agile company with relatively low
overheads. In these times, I would not
like to be a large player in the industry.
Indeed, I anticipate more and more
hotels and restaurants failing over the
comingmonths.
Here at Chef’s Delight, it’s important
that we continue to uphold our
professionalism and high standards.
This, ultimately, is what goes
rewarded in this industry, and it will
be the reason for our success as we
moveforward.
EU citizens are
deciding the
UK is no
longer an
attractive
option in terms
of work
Left: Edible flowers
Centre: San Marzano
tomatoes
Right: Wild asparagus

www.chefsdelight.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Chef's Delight. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster