Clam’s Cakes, based in Blaenau Gwent, are an artisan bakery who supply ambient and frozen cakes to the foodservice, retail and direct to consumer markets. All of their products, including loaf cakes, tray bakes, muffins, round cakes, scones and biscuits are hand made in small batches.
Clam’s stay on trend through a focus on creating innovative new products, which includes a range of vegan cakes. In 2018, they were named Wales’s best craft bakery business in British Baker’s Baking Industry Awards and the company has also won numerous Great Taste Awards.
Clam’s have previously worked with ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre on a range of projects including internal audits, new product development, retailer audits, product specification questionnaires and data logging.
Support from ZERO2FIVE
ZERO2FIVE started a new project with Clam’s in 2020 when the company were preparing to renew their SALSA certification.
Emma Mackenzie, the company’s technical assistant, had progressed from a quality assurance role and had not previously led the company through a SALSA audit. A ZERO2FIVE technologist provided Emma with regular mentoring in the requirements of the SALSA standard and the audit process. ZERO2FIVE also reviewed Clam’s internal food safety systems in collaboration with Emma so that she would have a good understanding of what a SALSA auditor would look for.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Clam’s opted for a three-stage SALSA audit process which comprises of a certificate extension review, remote assessment and physical on-site audit. Clam’s were required to provide SALSA with a range of documentation, including the company’s HACCP plan, allergen risk assessment and labelling procedures. ZERO2FIVE worked with Emma to ensure all the company’s documentation was up to date and SALSA ready.
As part of the audit process, Emma took part in a remote assessment with a SALSA auditor and led the company’s on-site audit. Clam’s successfully passed their on-site audit in May 2021 with no non-conformances. This year, Emma has also successfully led the company through an online supplier audit for one of their key customers and an onsite Environmental Health Officer visit, achieving a food hygiene rating score of 4.
Benefits of the support
As a result of the support from ZERO2FIVE, Clam’s successfully retained their SALSA certification which has been vital in launching the company’s products into three major high street retailers. Clam’s has successfully launched nine new products in 2021 including a vegan cookie, matcha green tea loaf, and Mother’s Day brownie.
With the support of ZERO2FIVE, Emma has been able to lead Clam’s successfully through a series of challenging third-party audits and further develop her knowledge as she progresses in her technical career.
Going forward, ZERO2FIVE plan to provide additional training and mentoring for Emma so that she can develop her technical knowledge and skills in areas identified during the SALSA audit such as environmental swabbing and further build on her management skills. Emma has already received mentoring in good manufacturing practices and internal auditing.
“The support from ZERO2FIVE has been invaluable and we are able to call on it when required.”