Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers. How Muntons is creating the leaders of the future with its apprenticeship scheme.
Muntons has been running its current apprenticeship scheme, better known as the management trainee programme with the West Suffolk College, since 2017.
Ellie Smith, who’s been with Muntons for 11 years, is currently completing her Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Level 5 Operations and Departmental Management course and talks about her apprenticeship experience:
“I joined Muntons in January 2008 as a part-time receptionist and once my girls were a little older, I moved into a fulltime administrative role within our craft beer and wine department. This position gave me a good grounding and enabled me to learn more about the company and its products.
My next position was then in the customer service department where I continued my learning journey and worked with many of our overseas accounts. It was while working in the customer service team that I found that I wanted to learn more and when the opportunity arose to apply for a management trainee position, and in 2019 I started the programme and I haven’t looked back since.
University wasn’t on the cards for me, because I started my family when I was quite young. So, this was a chance for me to further my knowledge, broaden my understanding and gain a qualification at the end of the programme.”
The apprentices on Muntons’ programme follow the ILM curriculum, which is a nationally recognised management qualification. All ILM are supported by the West Suffolk College and the awards are given by The City and Guilds of London Institute. As part of the programme, those on the course gain valuable experience by working in all areas of the business.
Ellie continues: “Thanks to this course, I’ve been able to spend time in procurement and production, and I’m now currently working in HR.
I have the most understanding and encouraging tutor at the West Suffolk College, who I am in regular contact with, even during lockdown. She is incredibly supportive and I’m grateful to have her cheering me on, alongside the team at work.
Muntons is incredibly supportive and really does help us to get the best out of our role and ILM course. As an apprentice who’s training to become a manager, I’m given opportunities to apply my learnings within the business and not just the coursework.
I look forward to using everything I’ve learnt along the way and become a successful manager within the company. I’d certainly recommend furthering your career by taking up an apprenticeship; being paid to learn on the job is an excellent opportunity and one that I’m pleased I took up.”
2020 Review and Thanks
As we wrap up our 99th year, we wanted to take some time to not only reflect on the achievements we’ve made and the obstacles we’ve faced, but also offer our gratitude and thanks to our customers.
We know this has been a very tough year for many businesses throughout the industries that we support. However, if it weren’t for you, our customers, we wouldn’t be about to embark on our centenary and we’re grateful for your loyalty and excited for our future together.
So, it goes without saying, but thank you!
James Robinson, Eclipse Aerial Photography - Drone Footage
Tim Simpson Photography
Muntons Set to Decarbonise 100 Million Kilowatt Hours of Heat with New Energy Centre
Muntons, the UK’s leading malt product manufacturer and distributor, is set to slash its carbon emissions by 23,545 tonnes per year in an exciting new partnership which will see a 14MW biomass boiler installed at its Stowmarket site.
The project is being led by AMP Clean Energy which will operate the energy and steam supply under an Energy Supply Agreement to Muntons for its manufacturing process. Working in partnership with AMP Clean Energy on the project is Vital Energi, to deliver an optimised design and has been appointed as the Principal Contractor on the £16.5m project.
Mark Tyldesley, Group Managing Director at Muntons, said: “Muntons is recognised as a leader in sustainability projects throughout the industry. Through our focus on carbon reduction we have already cut greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter over the past ten years, exceeding our climate change agreement target.”
He continued: “The headline Science Based Target (SBT) for manufacturing is to reduce carbon emissions by 87% by 2050. Our Director of Technical and Sustainability, Dr Nigel Davies, has led our systematic approach to carbon reduction as part of our sustainability strategy and we have taken early action long before the SBT were introduced.
“Our emissions reduction journey before 2010 is recognised as contributing to our SBT and our target is to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 45% by 2025 from a 2010 baseline, together with a 30% reduction in scope 3. Crucial to us hitting this target is installing biomass heating at both of our UK malting sites. Working collaboratively with specialists AMP Clean Energy continue to deliver on our mantra of ‘Practical Sustainability’.”
Richard Burrell, CEO of AMP Clean Energy, said: “This is a major low-carbon project that will deliver significant sustainability benefits for Muntons. Muntons is a true sustainability leader in the food and drink sector and the use of biomass heat is central to its ability to hit its science-based target. It is fantastic that such a major project will come on-line next April, and we are proud to work with trailblazers like Muntons which will assist the UK’s net zero transition.”
Regional Director for Vital Energi, Mike Cooke explains, “This project is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how decarbonisation can be made feasible. We worked in partnership with Muntons and AMP Clean Energy to develop a scheme which would maximise both carbon reductions and projects economics, with the result being a reduction in emissions of over 470,000 tonnes over the course of the 20-year contract.
“The food and drink industry is a huge consumer of energy and we believe this partnership is a great example of how manufacturers can decarbonise their processes whilst improving their bottom line.”
When complete, the energy solution will provide almost all steam, heat and electricity for Muntons’ Stowmarket site. Work has started on site with commissioning scheduled for mid-2021.
Photo: James Robinson, Eclipse Aerial Photography
Muntons recommends teams at home to put mental health first.
Muntons, one of the country’s leading supplier of brewing and distilling malts and malted ingredients has kicked off a working from home wellbeing programme. The maltster, which is based in Stowmarket and has sites in Bridlington, the USA and Thailand, is encouraging team members to take time away from their screens by rolling out a scheme which includes a variety of tea breaks, such as ten-minute yoga and wellbeing sessions. Employees have also had a lunch hour blocked out in their Outlook diaries, to prevent meetings being scheduled across that hour.
Led by the company’s work from home committee, team members are also invited to socialise with their colleagues by taking part in post work drinks on Wednesdays, cooking lessons and a Christmas quiz next month.
Many studies prove the importance of breaks during the working day and the positive impact they have on not only productivity but mental and physical health.
Eamonn Sparkes, Muntons’ Head of HR, said: “Like many companies, we didn’t envisage the work from home guidance lasting for so long and we’re conscious that this has meant less social interaction for a lot of us during this time.”
Muntons is particularly aware of how the days are getting shorter with the winter arriving and its Leadership Team hopes that its employees who are working from home all day, can get out and be active while it is still light.
Eamonn continues: “While we’re not making these events or the full hour-long break mandatory, we are asking that everybody makes sure they don’t sit in the same position, facing their screens all day, every day.”
Priding itself on being an employer where teams enjoy themselves, Muntons has a low employee turnover, with the average time a colleague stays with the maltster being 11 years. It isn’t unheard of for employees to work for the business for decades either, with colleagues still working for Muntons for 30, 40 and even 50 years.
Eamonn ends with: “We’re finding our new virtual socials and sessions are encouraging cross-departmental conversations, which have been sorely missed. That quick chat on the corridor or at the water cooler about last night’s TV seem like a thing of the past, so it’s wonderful to see people socialising once again.”
Photo: Richard Platt, Senior New Product Development Technologist, is the host of “Come Bake with Me” this month. Copyright: Tim Simpson Photography
Message about 2020 events
The Coronavirus Pandemic has made 2020 an exceptionally difficult year for all of us, our families, our friends and for our businesses. We, and others in our industry, have had to make some difficult decisions to ensure that we are all protected from the covid-19 virus. Amongst the precautions which have proved necessary has been the cancellation of some historically important exhibitions and trade fairs. Events that have decided to remain open will inevitably suffer from dramatically reduced footfall as social distancing requirements are enforced.
It is with regret that we must share with you our decision not to attend or exhibit at this year’s Brau, FI Asia or FI Europe. These events have always proved to be enjoyable and fruitful, providing an excellent opportunity to enjoy spending time with our business partners, perhaps over a drink, where the benefits that working together can bring. We are hopeful that things will return to normal soon but in the meantime we will ensure that we remain in contact with our customers, suppliers and trade partners through virtual meetings. Please do let us know if you would like us to schedule such a meeting.
If you would like to know more about Muntons, our products or just want to know what we are doing, please follow us through social media, on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram or twitter or visit our website where you will find our latest news
Secretary of State for International trade discusses Brexit deal with Muntons
On Friday 4th September Liz Truss the Secretary of State for International Trade along with Muntons local MP Jo Churchill visited the company to meet with Mark Tyldesley, Muntons Managing Director, and Neil Pearmain, Muntons Ingredients Sales Director, to discuss concerns over possible Brexit outcomes.
During the course of the visit, the Minister was given a tour of the site and in particular the new germination boxes and evaporator three, two areas where significant sums have been invested to ensure Muntons readiness for the future. Liz Truss was accompanied by her special advisors and their film crew, who covered the event through their social media platforms.
Liz Truss offered strong words of support for the company, stressing that she wanted a Canada style deal which would allow the UK to continue to export to the EU tariff free and allow the EU to export to us. She is seeking removal of the US tax on Scotch Whisky and is looking to formalise the existing terms with japan whereby our customers don’t face import duty on malt.
Mark Tyldesley emphasised that although there was uncertainty over the final outcome of the Brexit negotiation, Muntons sees these as short-term issues and that the company is strong enough to get through this without a problem. He stressed we are looking for reassurance that the Government understands the impact a no-deal Brexit would have on industry, and in particularly on our malted ingredients business.
Kim Riley, chief reporter for BBC Look East, interviewed both Mark Tyldesley and Liz Truss in preparation for the coverage aired on Friday evening’s Look East news programme. During the course of the two-minute prime time coverage, Muntons site and production areas were clearly in evidence and Richard Platt, Muntons senior food technologist, demonstrated some of the extensive range of malted ingredients made by the company.
Sarah Chambers, reporter for the East Anglian Daily Times, also attended with their photographer, capturing the occasion both on camera and in video. click here to read the full coverage and view their video.
Photo Source: EADT photographer BRITTANY WOODMAN
Muntons make more than malt
Making malt is not enough for one UK maltster. Muntons based in Stowmarket, Suffolk, have just announced that they have reached a genuine milestone having generated 10 million Kilowatt hours of electricity since opening their Anaerobic Digester (AD) plant in 2015, enough electricity to power 2,000 average sized homes every year.
Muntons AD plant has been operational since January 2015 making Muntons the first maltster in the UK to take this bold step for increased sustainability. Not only does it generate electricity, it also makes significant reductions in road haulage. By using their own process waste water, residues from the processing of barley into malt and malt extract, they have saved the equivalent of 3,000 tonnes of Greenhouse gas emissions. This substantial saving is the equivalent of the emissions from 1,600 cars every year.
The Muntons AD plant doesn’t only produce electricity, a by-product of the process is a high quality digestate, or bio-fertiliser, which can then be used on local farms to enrich the soil, helping to ensure top quality crops are grown ready to be malted. It really is full circle sustainable thinking in action.
Nigel Davies, Muntons Director of Technical and Sustainability commented: “Our decision to build an AD plant has proved to be well founded, making a valuable contribution to our energy requirements. Generating energy locally is efficient and environmentally sound, and the positive impact on nature is significant, reducing greenhouse gasses and helping to enrich the soil on local farms.”
Muntons have calculated that since the plant was commissioned, they have produced 5,606,175 cubic metres of biogas. They have also treated 411,000 cubic metres of waste water, which is then safely introduced into the river Gipping to help keep the fish swimming and the river flowing.
Yeast Is A Brewer Too
In the current climate of Covid19 and national lockdown we at Muntons have been contacted by our partners in the brewing industry to support them with solutions to keep one of their most valuable employees alive. I’m of course speaking about every brewers’ house yeast, that needs to be fed with wort on a regular basis to ensure its vitality and cell count is always raring to go. In many breweries the management of the house yeast is a critical aspect of the business, with some breweries having reached generation numbers in the thousands.
Several of our customers have been forced by the current circumstances to stop production of wort and beer. This situation has led to some brewers having to come in on a weekly basis to brew short runs just to keep the yeast fed. We have investigated the suggestions made by brewers, engaging our own experts in the fields of brewing and liquid malt extract production and have found our brewing extracts to be highly suitable for growing yeast. We are currently looking into the best setups to enable optimal yeast growth with a minimum amount of staff and time spent on site.
A solution we are currently looking at is setting up a sterile FV next to a yeast management FV. The idea is to make a dilution of malt extract in water and boil it for 30minutes to ensure it is sterile. This solution could then be pumped into a sterilised FV via the heat exchange. The FV will need to be sealed to ensure no bacteria or wild yeast can enter. The temperature in this FV should be set to 5 -10C to keep the wort in good condition.
A few hundred litres of wort could then be transferred via a clean pump and pipework to a second FV. If possible, the transfer would go via the oxygenation line to up the O2 level in the wort. This would then be left at 18 - 23 C for a 2-3 days this depends on every brewers’ house yeast behaviour. You will know how long your lag phase is before fermentation kicks in and how long fermentations tend to take to start dropping. To be more scientific, you can measure the gravity of the fermenting wort and when it starts dropping you will want to go to the next step.
At this point we would suggest dropping the temperature to about 15C to slow down the yeast a bit and dropping out the fermenting wort until the yeast layer appears. Then after sanitising the equipment add more wort from the boiled wort tank into the yeast FV and give it another 2-3 days again you will know best how long your yeast will need.
When the boiled wort tank runs out you should have a large volume of viable yeast that you can pack into you preferred yeast storage containers. You will be able to rack the yeast from a racking valve after dropping the fermented wort out of the system, thus removing the potential dangers off top cropping. This also requires far less volume in the tank as you won't need to fill the tank to the top.
Pack some of the yeast into your standard yeast storage containers and then as soon as you reach the maximum cold storage time you are comfortable with, repeat the process.
This process would enable a single person to keep the yeast going. It will also reduce the amount of time spent on site working alone and especially reduce the amount of time spent on ladders cropping yeast.
The entire process can be run on a small scale should you have the equipment. This would also remove the requirement of boiling the dilution as you could make a new one every time you need to add oxygenated wort to the yeast.We will continue looking into ways of supporting our partners throughout the brewing industry in these difficult times to keep breweries and team members going with technical brewing support and creative new ways of applying our knowledge.
For more information on Muntons malts or if you have a technical brewing enquiry, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org