Glendale Foods

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Glendale Foods'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 Glendale Foods 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

Highlighting best practice
Paul Burkitt, managing director,
and Mark Jones, operations
Wraps for retailers and
the airline industry
Based in Salford, Manchester, Glendale Foods is a major
supplier of cooked meat, non-meat components and
hand-held snacks to major retailers and ready-meal
manufacturers, airlines, wholesalers and restaurant groups, both
in the UK and abroad. Glendale has adapted and changed over
the 30 years since the company’s inception, driven by a passion
for innovation in food. Starting as a local quality butcher over
50 years ago, and now with over 100 years’ experience in food
manufacturing within the board of directors, Glendale Foods
have always cherished quality and strived to lead and adapt to
changing tastes. What follows is a more in-depth account of the
company from their directors, Paul Burkitt and Mark Jones.
Our origins
In 2007, we merged our old businesses together to form the present-day Glendale
and bought the remaining shares to become joint owners in 2015. Since 2007,
the company has undergone continued investment in plant machinery, people, IT
and building structure to keep pace with the demands and regulations of the food
industry. In 2015, the board was extended to non-shareholding members in the
next phase of development for the company.
The business suffered a devastating fire in 2012, which destroyed half of the
production area; this presented challenges never before experienced by the team.
While initially this nearly destroyed the business, eventually the determination and
tenacity of the team prevailed to give us a new factory and fully refurbished site,
setting top industry standards and rewarding us with new blue chipbusiness.
»Managing director: Paul Burkitt
»Operations director: Mark Jones
»Established in 1985
»Based in Salford, Manchester
»Services: Food manufacture
»No. of employees: Over 160
»Turnover: Around £19 million
»Invested over £4 million in the
last 4 years
Glendale Foods
The challenges
Brexit: love it or hate it, we all have to
deal with the effects. Currently those
effects are purely from the change and
uncertainty due to British and European
Parliaments not, apparently, able to
negotiate effectively or indeed in a
respectful fashion. In our industry, there
are many regulations to ensure a set
of fair and basic rules and laws when
doing business. For instance, in retailing
there are the GCOSH regulations –
we believe it would make sense for
businesses to set out parameters for
government while they are representing
us during Brexitnegotiations.
Lack of governmental clarity
Areas of negotiation that will have
a great effect on the future of food
production which are not yet clear
enough are:
»Labour. Freedom of movement and
availability, as well as continued
increases in cost, is a particularly
large issue for the food industry. Our
experiences with EU citizens brings
to mind nothing but admiration:
most are dedicated, hardworking,
respectful, and the reward that
many of our EU-originated staff have
enjoyed through progression in the
company is clear to see, including
one promotion to boardlevel.
»Regulation. I doubt anyone in the
food industry will be sorry to see the
interference of Brussels disappear
(not to mention the obscene costs),
but it will be very important to listen
to industry as the laws are unpicked
and reinstated to suit the British
industry and public.
»Free market. It is difficult to
understand what advantages a tariff-
led economy has. Trading with one
confers no benefits for any interested
party. It is surely common sense for
markets such as those of Europe to
be closely linked and aligned.
»Raw material pricing. This is yet
another area of uncertainty without
good reason. The result is guaranteed
inflation for the consumer.
Snack production, over
60,000 units per day
Meat processing, for
cooked and raw products
Cooked meatballs
I doubt anyone
in the food
industry will be
sorry to see the
interference of
Highlighting best practice
Success and opportunity
With our new facilities, we have seen
successful recognition of our investment
in both infrastructure and people. We
have a full “pilot production plant” to
enable clients to spend time with our
team, developing recipes and products
without the need to schedule work into
the main factory works programme. This
enables us not just to work quicker on
projects, but to really get to know and
understand our clients. This then follows
on with the next project they have,
testing our understanding and ability
to react quickly. We are, after all, in
FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods).
We are also always looking to expand
our portfolio; more recently we have
entered the fast-growing and much
talked about “meat free” market. To this
end, we have acquired an established
brand: “Meat The Alternative”. We
are now supplying major retailers with
products that very much fit the current
“in trend”, such as meat-free burgers
and meatballs, all designed to taste like
meat but far healthier and friendlier to
Within the airline sector we are
completing a joint venture with one of
our longstanding (ten years) clients to
invest in a new line to produce a new
range of products suitable for an ever
more demanding airline industry. Once
live, this line will be producing around
60,000 items per day.
As 2018 progresses, we are pleased
with the progress of the business,
particularly with clients (new and old)
who have recognised the commitment
of the management team, and who
have supported that commitment
Where there could be more
The one thing that disappoints us is
the lack of help and support from the
wider organisations that we have to
deal with – be that when we had a fire
in 2012 (when 160 jobs were at risk)
and absolutely no government body
offered any help. Indeed, we didn’t
even get a phone call from our local
MP, whose office was a few streets
away. We found the insurance industry
to be a law unto themselves, with no
protection provided to businesses. A
claim can effectively be buried when
the stricken client is mired in delays
and bureaucratic hurdles.
Furthermore, as owner managers, we
feel the level of taxation for the return
on our efforts and reinvested money
is unfair: corporation tax, personnel
tax, dividend tax and then tax again
when we sell, and, for good measure,
tax when we die. On top of this, we
collect numerous taxes on behalf of
the government week in, week out.
We believe there needs to be a fairer
tax system for businesses; it seems to
always be the SMEs that are taking
the brunt, whereas the very large
corporations seem to find loop-holes
to vastly reduce their tax burden. In
effect, it’s great effort and risk without
a high level of reward, which in turn
will reduce the incentive.
The level of
taxation for
the return on
our efforts
and reinvested
money is
Great British pudding:
steak and kidney
“Loaded” hot dog

This article was sponsored by Glendale Foods. 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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister