The recipe for long term success:

Habasit as an extension of major food supplier’s in-house engineering team

There are a lot of ways to make history. Discovering the perfect recipe for the UK delicacy of Parkin cake is one of them. With just the right amount of syrupy molasses, oatmeal and ginger, Frederick Shaw created a delicious masterpiece in 1936 and this became the starting point for a bakery business in Northeast England whose history now spans over 75 years.

Northumbrian Fine Foods, the same company that provided food parcels to the Red Cross in the 1940’s, now supplies a nation (and beyond) with a wide range of gluten and milk free biscuits. Home to renowned brands such as Prewett’s and Geobar, their passion for finding the right recipe remains.

But as the company has grown, so has the demand and with two hundred employees in a plant covering 30,000 square feet, baking biscuits for the whole of the UK is no small matter. For many years now, Northumbrian Fine Foods has relied on Habasit as a key partner in production. With a product portfolio to fit every biscuit application, Habasit has been able to serve as the company’s sole supplier. Although a variety of different belts are used, the Cleanline range has provided high release and non-stick properties which are ideal for the sometimes sticky business of baking.

The flavour of quality

“We don’t just see Habasit as a supplier,” says Northumbrian Fine Foods Engineering Manager, John Harriot. “They are an extension of our engineering team.”

The close collaboration of the two companies is made possible through the expertise of Habasit engineers who are available 24/7 to arrive on-site, drastically minimising downtime. Habasit Regional Sales Manager, Chris Baillie remembers a time last year when the customer had a production breakdown of their overhead conveyor in the middle of the night. The conveyor’s belt is 85 meters long and essential for the entire operation of the plant. On-call engineers arrived at midnight and were able to resolve the problem within a few hours, removing and replacing a damaged roller before reinstalling the belt. By early morning, the plant was back in motion.

“Habasit and Northumbrian Fine Foods make good partners because we share an understanding of what a partnership is,” explains Chris Baillie. “We have the same core values: collaboration with customers, quality you can trust, and continuous improvements.”

As history has shown, the customer not only has a knack for good taste in biscuit recipes, but also knows how to choose the best ingredients for success. Habasit and Northumbrian Fine Foods both agree, the flavour of quality will not soon go out of style. (ST)

Chris Baillie Regional Sales Manager

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