Signature Flatbreads

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Signature Flatbreads'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 Signature Flatbreads 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

State-of-the-art automated
The Rt Hon George Eustice
MP declaring the opening
of a £10 million bakery
extension, with William (left)
and Charles Eid (right)
Signature Flatbreads is an award-winning bakery company
with a truly international outlook, supplying millions of
breads daily to customers in over 60 countries worldwide.
The business was founded in 1984 by Dr Samir Eid, of Lebanese
ancestry but born in Ghana in 1932. Dr Eid is descended from
a family of bakers who left the Middle East to settle in Africa as
far back as the First World War. Joint CEO William Eid tells the
Dr Eid was motivated by his exposure to various cultures and traditions, and he had
a passion to bake the breads of the world and to introduce them to consumers in
the UK. He also wanted his children to continue in the family baking tradition. He
started a small bakery in east London and my siblings and I joined the business to
become third-generation bakers. In Ghana, the family still operate Piccadilly Biscuits
Ltd, which employs 600 people. Piccadilly celebrated its 60th anniversary this year
and became famous for choco cookies made using high-quality Ghanaian cocoa.
When the Signature UK bakery was incorporated in 1984, few in the UK had been
exposed to pittas, naans and tortillas. The bakery was one of the first to introduce
pitta to the UK supermarket industry and the very first to launch naans and tortillas
commercially in the UK. Tortilla volumes were very small when they were launched
because people did not know what to do with them. However, it was just a matter
of time before their versatility made them more popular. While flatbreads were
once regarded as ethnic breads, they are no longer so today. Pitta is not necessarily
Cypriot, tortillas aren’t necessarily Mexican and naans are not only part of the curry
but are also used as pizza bases. While we were the first in the UK to introduce
naans commercially, their success and popularity became a catalyst for their
adoption by supermarkets around theworld.
»Joint CEOs: William and
Charles Eid
»Founded in 1984
»Based in Dunstable,
»Services: Baking of tortillas,
naans, pittas, flatbreads and
morning goods
»No. of employees: 950
Signature Flatbreads
Highlighting best practice
Launch of the Deli Kitchen
Flatbreads are now mainstream in
many countries across the world and
their appeal continues to increase as
consumers seek a variety of eating
options. Signature is entirely focused
on growing this category for its
customers and continues to create a
range of new flatbreads to delight its
consumers. Our innovation pipeline
is so rich that the Deli Kitchen brand
was created 12 months ago to create a
channel to market for new breads. The
Deli Kitchen brand made it possible
for the company’s innovations to be
adopted and tested by its customers
quite quickly while at the same time
keeping our range interesting. Our
willingness to use the brand as a
platform to test new concepts and
to transition to own-label at a future
date has encouraged its adoption
by the supermarket industry. Our
team is bursting with new ideas
which we would like to test, and we
are delighted that our Deli Kitchen
brand is recognised for the innovation
it brings. Our goal is to grow the
flatbread category for our customers
and we work tirelessly to do just
that. The brand has already exceeded
expectation, reaching multi-million
turnover in just over 12 months. It is
also supported by tennis champion
Lauren Jones and Olympic medalist
Tom Daley.
Deli Kitchen branded breads include
a very thin wrap with half the calorie
content of a tortilla and a sliced focaccia
for sandwich making that is topped
with virgin olive oil. A very recent launch
is a Greek-style flatbread wrap which is
soft and flexible for a more substantial
eat. The Signature Flatbread business
continues to invest in people,
equipment and innovation and has
done so with little distraction from
short-term economic trends. Rather, we
are concentrating on the longer-term
objective of growing our category and
building on our strengths, both in the
UK and internationally.
Expansion to India
Signature’s Indian breads became so
popular that they were also sold in
India. The shareholders of the business
eventually founded a bakery in India,
which has today grown to employ over
200 people. The company is baking
Indian breads, in India, for the Indian
consumer. Among the range are
chapati, kulcha, a variety of parathas,
theplas and pooris.
Signature India also supplies a wider
range of non-Indian flatbreads,
including tortillas, various sandwich
carriers and pizza bases and these are
sold into the Indian domestic market
and in export markets beyond India
also. Export destinations include the
Middle East, Africa, Malaysia, Korea and
other countries in the Asia-Pacific.
My fellow Joint CEO Charles Eid said
of our expansion: “Venturing into new
markets requires that you learn about
your new customers and adapt to their
needs quickly. The more quickly you
learn, the more quickly you can start to
make progress. A passion for your craft
will give you the stamina to succeed.”
On a recent visit, The Rt Hon Elizabeth
Truss MP said: “Selling naan breads
in India from a company based in
Dunstable would once have been
unthinkable, and is the ultimate
embodiment of global Britain.”
Deli Kitchen folded
The Deli
Kitchen brand
made it
possible for
the company’s
innovations to
be adopted
and tested
Pursuit of excellence
We achieved an AA+ rating at an
unannounced BRC audit which
took place at various locations in
recent months. All production and
warehousing sites at the Dunstable
bakery were audited and standards were
surpassed in all areas, resulting in the
top score possible. We pride ourselves
on our high standards in all parts of
the production process. Consistent
standards of excellence enable us to
produce a range of safe, high-quality,
great-tasting and innovative products
that help our customers to grow their
own businesses.
As third-generation bakers we use
our experience and tailored approach
to create quality flatbreads that
continually adapt to the needs of the
consumer. Our success is testament to
the pride our people take in the breads
we bake and to how these breads are
enjoyed worldwide.
Investment in people
In appreciation of our people and their
contribution, Signature pays above
average rates for our staff. In the UK,
we adopted the real living wage, despite
a backdrop of economic uncertainty.
Our business is only as good as the
people who work within it, and we are
fortunate to have a dedicated and loyal
workforce. Baking top-quality flatbreads
is essential to our success and we
believe that this significant and ongoing
investment in our people is a recognition
of their importance to us and gives
a clear signal to the industry of our
confidence as a business.
Following a highly successful year in
2018, we have this year installed two
large high-capacity production lines
in Dunstable with an outlay of £8
million. The new lines have created
50 additional jobs this year alone. We
now employ 950 people and continue
to grow.
We adopted
the living
wage despite
a backdrop of
Shortly after the opening of a £10 million extension to its bakery in
Dunstable in 2016, an event attended by The Rt Hon George Eustice
MP, Signature Flatbreads won the Bakery Manufacturer of the Year
award. In November 2018, we won the prestigious Entrepreneur of
the Year award at
’s Central and East Dealmakers Awards. In
February 2019, we won the
Made in Central and East England
Food Manufacturer of the Year award, for companies with a turnover
of over £25 million. The awards celebrate businesses from across
the region that have demonstrated success in innovation, product
development and growth, in either domestic or overseas markets.
Our success in export markets has been particularly noteworthy.
The UK business exports to many countries in Europe and to the
USA. From time to time, the UK business also exports to Russia and
China. Famously, the business exports crumpets to Japan. This year
we achieved both Gold and Silver at the 22nd Annual Royal Hobart
Fine Food Awards in Australia. The seeded flatbun took Gold at the
prestigious awards and the white flatbun won a Silver. We also won
the Q Awards in 2017 for our unique thin wraps.
We are delighted to have had our products recognised, and securing
two awards at such a highly respected industry event is exceptional,
particularly given the distance between the UK and Australia.
The Rt Hon Elizabeth
Truss MP with William
Eid on a recent visit to
Signature Flatbreads

This article was sponsored by Signature Flatbreads. 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