Food Technical Services

Address Food Technical Services, 15 Broom Drive, Inverness IV2 4EG, Scotland, UK
Telephone: +44 (0) 1463 229 593, Mobile +44 (0) 7780 965 049

Technical support and training for the food industry

The Scottish food and drink industry holds an excellent reputation, much of it down to the high quality raw materials available locally but also due to the clever use of technologies and sheer hard work put in to make each product succeed.

We often hear that Scotland:

  • Brings in over £4 billion from food and drink exports (2009)
  • Is the world’s third largest salmon producer and largest whisky producer
  • Has 1,200+ food and drink processing companies (yet 75 per cent employ less than 11 staff)

The need for healthy manufacturing and export businesses is obvious, those involved know only too well that the industry plays its part, yet there’s scope for so much more! Tight margins don’t help and skills levels/availability are a major issue

Inverness based Ian Meek, a food manufacturing technical specialist since the mid 1980s is no stranger to the skills shortage, and he says it’s significant enough to frustrate the ambitious growth targets of the industry.

Ian told Executive: “It became clear that for many food manufacturers, the pressure to get premises processes products, systems and skill levels to current expectations; were going to get far tougher.

“The standards for food safety management systems across the EU (2006), Asia, US, etc would add to the difficulties, especially for smaller enterprises.

“Seeing the situation as an interesting business opportunity and a chance to contribute further to the industry, I established Food Technical Services in 2007.”

Since then a client base of 80+ businesses has benefited from a range of confidential, hands-on support, advice/mentoring and latterly, training services.

Many hundreds of projects have been undertaken including:

  • Use of enzyme biotechnology to improve yield and quality in Highland based spirit drink processing
  • Development of a fully compostable barrier packaging format for an environmentally aware Scottish chocolate confectioner
  • Design of manufacturing sites and production flows for fish shellfish processors targeting retailers in the UK and export markerts
  • Developments of thermal and packing processes to extend product shelf lives, to allow expansion of soups and fish product lines into retail and export markets
  • Development of food safety management systems and training programmes, for example, to allow a small salmon and whitefish processor to extend its export business into the USA
  • Support with product specifications and labelling for exports across Europe, Asia, and the Americas

Despite economic uncertainty, business continues to expand; much of Food Technical Services’ workload is returning clients and word of mouth from existing (obviously satisfied) clients

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