Hive Mind Mead and Brew Co was founded in 2018 by brothers Kit and Matt Newell in the beautiful Wye Valley in the Welsh Borders.
The brothers established the business with the goal of modernising the world's oldest alcoholic drink. Combining their love of beekeeping with their interest in brewing, Hive Mind employs modern beer brewing techniques to produce a range of light sparkling meads and honey beers, many of which are made using British honey.
Hive Mind has previously received support from ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre with their food safety management systems and so contacted the Centre for further support in 2022 when they had moved to a new factory and were aiming to become SALSA certified.
SALSA is one of the most widely recognised food safety certification schemes in the UK and is designed for smaller food producers and suppliers. Approved businesses must demonstrate to an auditor that they are able to produce and supply safe and legal food and are committed to meeting the requirements of the SALSA standard on an ongoing basis.
Support from ZERO2FIVE
A ZERO2FIVE technologist conducted a full internal systems review, assessing the company’s food safety management systems against the requirements of SALSA Issue 6. As a result, the company were provided with a gap analysis and mentored to implement an action plan to put in place the processes, systems and paperwork needed to become SALSA certified.
The company were assisted to create a range of food safety management documents, including Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) inspection paperwork, a food security risk assessment, a glass and hard plastics audit, and raw material risk assessment.
Whilst on site, the technologist supported the company to undertake a GMP inspection so that they would be able to self-assess hygiene and housekeeping on their premises on an ongoing basis. A mock recall exercise also helped the company to verify their traceability systems.
Benefits of the support
As a result of the support from ZERO2FIVE, Hive Mind successfully passed their SALSA audit in May 2023. The company has been able to secure a range of new customers who require their suppliers to hold SALSA certification and as a result three jobs have been safeguarded within the company.
Matt Newell, Co-founder of Hive Mind said:
“Thanks to ZERO2FIVE and Project Helix, we are now able to supply retailers and wholesalers who require SALSA and they have the confidence in our ability to provide them with the reassurance that we are fully compliant with their requirements through this certification.
“ZERO2FIVE were a vital tool in helping us achieve the level of proficiency required by the SALSA auditor. They were thorough and assisted members of our team to comply with the requirements and were flexible during our busiest times of year. They were pragmatic and solutions focused and were able to assess where we were and what we needed to do, ensuring a clear and logical programme of improvements until we had finally achieved our certification requirements.
“This objective, practical assistance, wide range of experience and industry knowledge and expertise, coupled with their helpful and collaborative approach, is why we would have no hesitation in recommending their support to food and drink businesses in our position, looking to take the next step.”