Tillery Valley Foods, based in Abertillery, are the market leaders in healthcare catering with over 30 years’ experience supplying chilled, frozen and steam-fresh plated meals to hospitals and healthcare groups across the UK.
The company approached ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre to help them reduce their food waste and to identify why there was a difference between the waste leaving their factory and what they were recording. They had already started mapping the waste generated at different points in their manufacturing process but they were looking for external verification.
Support from ZERO2FIVE
ZERO2FIVE worked with the company on two projects in 2019 to look at waste control in the factory and how it was being generated, recorded and reduced. The first project targeted the verification of waste control points in the high care manufacturing facility, specifically looking at:
- where they were capturing waste on the production lines and as it exited high care.
- any reasons that were contributing to waste e.g. out of date products or overproduction.
- process control when making finished products, focusing on raw material and component weight.
- what food and packaging was being thrown into dolav bins prior to collection by the waste contractor.
- the segregation of food and packaging waste.
The main purpose of the project was to facilitate the client in understanding the deficit in waste that was being recorded versus the amount leaving the factory. Structured periods of time were spent on the shop floor with key departments transferring knowledge and best practice. The work was presented back to the company with key areas/recommendations for improvements.
The second project mimicked the waste reduction work and learnings from high care but focused on low care. The waste control points were monitored but a larger focus of the work was on process efficiencies in the cooking vessels and ovens. This highlighted any deviations in weight/yield control, running order or recipe control to the stated process. This highlighted areas of process control that could be controlled to maximise labour efficiencies and save time and money.
Benefits of the support
ZERO2FIVE’s support helped the company better understand what was being thrown out and the reasons why. It also provided an independent pair of eyes to check operative behaviours and waste culture, highlighted the importance of understanding dolav bin waste, and the segregation of food and non-food waste. Recommendations were made to simplify the company’s food waste capture method in high care and to encourage operative behaviour changes through training and culture.
Ultimately, the support from ZERO2FIVE will help the company reduce their food waste, resulting in financial savings.
Jean Headon, Business Improvement Manager, Tillery Valley Foods:
“Over the past year Tillery Valley has been impacted by high food cost and national living wage increases. As a key employer (350+ employees) in the Heads of the Valley area, we could not sustain the waste losses and inefficiencies in the business.
“ZERO2FIVE came with a wealth of experience in the food industry. They also understood the challenges we were facing as a site. ZERO2FIVE were totally impartial and helped us to identify improvements in processes and new waste streams. The dedicated time they had to observe and collect data was invaluable and enabled the on- site management team to streamline process and action areas of waste streams we were not previously aware of.
“We started seeing the benefits when we captured the information. The waste tracking improved month on month from 20% to 60% and this visibility of where the waste was coming from has helped us reduce it going forward.
“The current management team are dedicated to improving efficiency and waste reduction, both from a cost and sustainability point of view. The support we received from ZERO2FIVE was invaluable and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”