Muntons wins award for environment and sustainability. Muntons has won the Environment and Sustainability award at the Suffolk Business Awards 2018 sponsored by the East Anglian Daily Times and Adnams. The judges were impressed by Muntons leadership on sustainability which continually raises the bar and is recognised amongst its competitors as a trailblazer for making sustainability practical.
The judges stated: “Muntons are passionate about malt – and the environment and has built sustainability into the very fabric of its business”. They praised Muntons for its commitment to using local supply to reduce food miles and its care for customers and suppliers. The judging panel was particularly impressed that Muntons had won the Weetabix sustainable supplier award two years running.
To win the category Muntons had to show that it is truly committed to enhance the environment not just avoid negative impacts. Equally important was that business decisions should be made with longer-term environmental goals in mind that also demonstrated a financial benefit to the business. The award ceremony at Kesgrave Hall was a glittering occasion with around 300 attending to see 12 awards presented.
Dr Nigel Davies, Technical and Sustainability Director of Muntons reflected on the win: “It is always good to see leadership recognised amongst those who also aim high on environmental protection that makes good business sense. Muntons have an externally verified science-based target which aligns our continual improvement in emissions control with that needed to keep the global temperature rise below 2oC. This is key to our approach: lead with passion on environmental protection, but make sure the improvements are real, continuing and verified and make us the supplier of first choice for ethical operations that drive financial success.”
Even their Anaerobic Digester plant is award winning, picking up the title of ‘Best Food and Drink Industry AD project’ at the 2016, AD and Bioresources Association awards ceremony. All of these awards bring a real lift to the staff, as their hard work and dedication is formally recognised.
Potential for personal development/promotion
At Muntons there is a diverse range of job types from process control through to office administration, engineering and laboratory analysis. Muntons pride themselves in helping with personal and professional development and vocational training – they see career development and succession planning as key strategies for the continued success of their company.
So staff are actively encouraged, through their performance development review process, to identify training needs and explore their career aspirations. As long as the training need is relevant to their job, Muntons will seriously consider assisting wherever possible. There are sometimes secondment opportunities which allow employees to experience new jobs and learn new skills, perhaps on a temporary basis, which may well prove useful later as their career progresses.
Over the past few years, and in a wide range of job areas, Muntons staff have completed training at all levels of the learning spectrum, from basic level 1 learning through to a full doctorate at level 8.
As Muntons is a food manufacturing plant, all of their people have completed training and hold the equivalent of the basic food hygiene certificate. They also receive full fire safety training and are offered first aid training too.
Career progression is important for both the individual and the company. As staff increase in competency, experience and qualification so it makes sense to find positions that make best use of these skills. The individual faces new challenges which stimulates their desire to succeed and the company can fill the slots created for example through retirement.
Company group personal pension plan
The Government have laid out clear criteria in their auto enrolment process for pensions and Muntons comply fully with this scheme. In their group pension plan Muntons contribute the equivalent of 5% of the employee’s salary into their individual group personal pension scheme once the auto enrolment process has been completed. Employees contribute the equivalent of 3% of their salary. The scheme is open to all full and part time employees, although this may not apply for some short term temporary positions. And of course employees do have the right to opt out of this scheme if they choose.
The performance of Muntons group pension plan is reviewed annually, where staff are able to meet with an independent financial adviser. Staff are encouraged to consider contributing into the scheme themselves, at levels they can afford, to help them to maximise their pension savings, to ensure that they are taking the most tax efficient approach for their later years.
There is a clear recognition at Muntons of the importance of a solid group pension plan, one which offers the most chance that, when their staff finally finish their working lives, they are well positioned to enjoy a rich and fulfilling retirement.
Family owned business with local roots
Whilst Muntons are a ‘plc’ business, their shares are not traded on the stock market as this is a privately-owned company. They are owned predominantly by members of the Wells family, who have been shareholders since Muntons started malt extract manufacture back in the 1920’s. The balance of ownership rests mainly with the staff and directors.
Family ownership engenders a spirit of longevity, with decisions taken for the good of the long term not just for short term benefit. This means that decisions tend to be taken with care and consideration – for people, the planet and of course for profit.
Local communities around the globe are important too. It is from the local area that most of their staff are drawn to work at Muntons, whether at Stowmarket, Bridlington, Bangkok, Singapore or Chicago, they depend on good local talent to keep the company fresh and agile.
Muntons moved to their 45-acre site in Stowmarket in 1948 and their business has grown substantially since that time. They now employ over 250 staff at their Stowmarket head office and a total of well over 300 people around the globe.
It is fair to say that Muntons is a growing business with strong roots, firmly imbedded in the local community.
Subsidised Canteen and other onsite facilities
All of the day staff at Muntons Stowmarket facility can take advantage of their subsidised canteen and enjoy a freshly cooked hot meal every day, catering for both meat lovers and vegetarians. And for those looking for a lighter bite there is a wide range of baguettes, paninis or sandwiches – freshly made and toasted if preferred. All at great value prices – a hot meal costing staff just over £3 – bargain.
Enjoy golf? Well the staff at Muntons can practice their putting skills on the 9 hole putting course during their breaks, or they can take an enjoyable stroll along one of the wildlife walks. Created just for staff to enjoy, a wide variety of flora and fauna can be seen throughout their 45-acre site along the banks of the river Gipping and across the various floodplains and woodlands that make up nearly half of the Stowmarket site.
Informal outdoor seating areas have also been created for staff to take in some fresh air and enjoy their lunch alfresco.
Muntons offer free car parking on site, secure areas for bicycles and for motor cycles and the company even offers a ‘bike to work’ scheme to encourage staff to make the leap from car to bike – good for their health and well-being, reducing travel to work costs and helping in a small way to save the planet.
Overseas offices/Marketing products across the globe
Muntons has always recognised the importance of international trade, supplying overseas markets since the formation of the company back in 1921. Today they do not only sell to global markets they have a tangible presence there as well.
The USA and Canada have long been supplied by Muntons from the UK, now they run a US based company, Muntons Inc., based just outside Chicago and maintain distribution centres across the states. Selling in the local currency and distributing from stock held in the USA means quicker, simpler ordering for US and Canadian customers, removing barriers and encouraging them to buy British.
In Asia, not only do Muntons have a sales office in Singapore to look after sales enquiries from across South East Asia, but also a New Product Development facility in Thailand strategically placed to allow us to develop products tailored for the local market.
2016 saw the official opening of our Thai based vacuum band drying plant, a US$16 million investment. Here, liquid malt extracts supplied from our Stowmarket plant are mixed with local ingredients and band dried into a convenient powder form to meet the needs of local food manufacturers.
Over the past five years Muntons has supplied products to 73 countries globally and the growth trend continues as they strive to fulfil their vision: ‘To find a place for malt and malted ingredients in the lives of people – in the foods they eat and the drinks they enjoy, on every continent, in every country and every household.’
Best practice and environmental credentials
Muntons take health and safety very seriously, employing a NEBOSH diploma qualified full time health and safety advisor, to ensure that all of our staff understand their health and safety responsibilities. Their health and safety record is enviable and is something they are intent on preserving.
All new starters at Muntons undergo basic health, safety and environmental training and are expected to pass the equivalent of the basic food hygiene certificate. Further training is provided, where it is relevant to the job role, in areas such as fire training, manual handling and first aid.
Sustainability for Muntons is not just about being clever enough to calculate their carbon or water footprint, or reduce energy and raw material usage and waste, it is about doing something practical to actually reduce their impact. Muntons has built an enviable reputation for being the greenest maltster and has made remarkable progress in diminishing their environmental impact. They have even coined a phrase to sum this up: P.S. Practical Sustainability – it’s no afterthought.
Caring about environmental issues is important for them, after all they rely on a good harvest every year to provide the raw material needed for their products. As virtually all of their malting barley comes from within a fifty-mile radius of their maltings, they are keen to ensure that the best possible growing conditions are maintained and actively work with the local farming community to develop and apply practices which reduce the overall carbon impact.
Variety of activities and clubs
The staff at Muntons are encouraged not just to work together but to play together. Team working is one of Muntons corporate values – ‘finding success through partnership and collaboration’ and extra-curricular activities are a great way of building working relationships.
Muntons has created its own wildlife walks just for their staff, to enjoy the wide variety of flora and fauna which can be seen throughout their 45-acre site. These run along the banks of the river Gipping and across the various floodplains and woodlands that make up nearly half of their Stowmarket site. Staff are actively encouraged to use these during their breaks, not just to get some fresh air and stretch their legs but to share time together - perhaps noting some newly spotted animal, plant or fungi.
There is an active fishing club with regular competitions held between Muntons staff and other local businesses and also a series of cricket matches where mixed teams vie for the much valued trophy, competing with banks, industry associations or other companies.
At the Muntons Stowmarket site, allotments have been created for staff to grow a wide variety of vegetables and fruit, making good use of this area and often sharing the fruits of their labours.
There is even a car sharing section on their intranet which actively assists staff to lower their travel costs. In addition, more than fifty Muntons employees have to date taken advantage of their bike-to-work scheme, which offers financial benefits for the purchase of a good quality bicycle for use in travelling to and from work – good for the heart and the pocket.
With opportunities for long term employment
Every year Muntons run approved apprenticeship programmes designed to offer real world training and a recognised qualification for the apprentice at the end of their term. This is an excellent way for hands-on students to get a qualification, get experience, get paid and at the end of their term stand a good chance of getting a full time job at Muntons as well.
Apprenticeships have always been a great way of learning jobs such as engineering, where getting your hands dirty and fixing problems are everyday experiences. But there are also apprenticeship opportunities in other areas too.
In 2018 Muntons plc had 17 employees studying apprenticeships. These include:
Nine of these apprenticeships are being studied as part of our successful two year management trainee programme. As part of this programme trainees spend time in all areas our business, both office and production, and learn the ropes with the aim of securing a management position within the Company upon completion of their training. The broad training of this programme gives candidates and opportunity to try all areas of the business to discover where their natural talents best fit within an organisation.
Apprenticeships are not just good for the student, they offer Muntons the chance to really get to know the strengths of the individual and allow them to develop skills that will bring benefits to the company as well.
We support a wide range of skills and professions and provide training and courses for personal/professional development
Muntons manufacture a wide range of malt and malted ingredients from locally sourced barley and, as you would expect in a manufacturing company, process operative positions form the largest segment of job types. But this is still only 39% of the total number of jobs.
There is a need for engineers to keep the machinery performing well and to prevent breakdowns, team leaders to control day to day processing, administrators to process orders, purchase supplies, arrange payments and process payments and managers to ensure that the company runs smoothly and efficiently and is compliant with legislation.
But let’s not forget the laboratory analysts who test the quality of raw materials and finished products. And the sales and marketing specialists who travel the globe winning orders and making sure that Muntons products are presented in the best possible way to prospective customers.
Then of course there are the Company Directors who keep the company on the correct strategic course, taking the tough decisions that are needed to ensure a long and profitable future.
Our employees stay an average of 11 years with the company
The health and wellbeing of Muntons staff is taken very seriously and this is reflected in a number of important indices. The average time that people stay at Muntons is currently just over 11 years for example. And their staff seem to be a fit bunch, certainly when compared with other similar companies, last year averaging just 4.9 sick days per year against the national average of 5.6 days*. Muntons staff churn rates are also low, varying between 7 to 10% over the past five years. So how do they achieve this?
Well, people like working for Muntons. They enjoy the pleasant working environment and know that they will get the support they need when the going gets tough, after all team working is one of Muntons key values – ‘finding success through partnership and collaboration’.
The working environment is monitored and our health and safety team ensure that our people are provided with the necessary equipment to keep them safe and comfortable in their job. But Muntons also go the extra mile, supplying free fruit, freshly cooked healthy meals in the subsidised canteen, on-site wildlife walks, discounted gym and sports centre membership. Also free membership of an excellent health cash plan which contributes towards the cost of dental and eye care plus physiotherapy, counselling and even chiropody.
Annual WDP's capture training and development needs and ensure that personal aspirations match, where possible, career path opportunities. In all Muntons recognise that a healthy workforce is a strong workforce.
*Source CIPD absence management survey 2017