2017 Bakery Manufacturer of the Year, Macphie, is proud of its team, products and environmental record, but was still surprised by its awards success

Scottish family business Macphie is proud of its 90-year heritage but is by no means stuck in the past.

In fact, it was Macphie’s forward-thinking, innovation and investment in the environment and people that secured it the title of Bakery Manufacturer of the Year 2017.

Despite this, Macphie commercial director Richard Cox says the achievement was unexpected. “Winning was a huge surprise,” he tells British Baker. “We were absolutely delighted to be shortlisted, but when it came to the night we weren’t confident as we were up against such strong finalists. As you watch the videos, they present such a convincing story, and the quality of the finalists was utterly fantastic.”

The business produces 500 skus, including sauces, glazes, mixes and concentrates, alongside chilled and frozen ingredients, at sites in Glenbervie, Aberdeenshire and Tannochside, near Glasgow.

“We’ve been going 90 years this year and that plays a huge part in the Macphie name, the tradition and the fact we’re so trusted by our suppliers and our customers,” Cox believes, noting relationships of over 20 years with some suppliers.

Macphie keeps things fresh through innovation. “We like to innovate, but not for innovation’s sake,” Cox adds. “We work very closely with our customers, looking at solutions based on trends and flavours that are coming and then translating that into something that will work for them.”

With such a large operation, it’s crucial that all members of staff are engaged with their work. This, Cox believes, is key to Macphie’s success at the Baking Industry Awards and more widely. “It all comes down to them in the end – it’s their award,” he says. “When you visit our sites every employee will say hello and give you a friendly smile, and the judges seemed to get that when they came up to visit. They have pride in the workplace and pride in the product.”

The environmental impact of its operations is also a key consideration for Macphie. As a family-owned business, it is able to be long-term in its vision, notes Cox. It was one of the first factories to install a biomass plant, which provides the steam for its UHT factory and also has two wind turbines, which produce energy to help power the factories, with the surplus going to the National Grid.

“Fifty per cent of all the energy we use across both our facilities is from on-site renewable sources. We’ve invested a lot of time and effort into creating that sustainable use of energy. We’re aware that as food producers we use a lot of energy.”

Macphie isn’t afraid to shout about its achievements, and offering advice to potential entrants to the 2018 Baking Industry Awards, Cox concludes: “Be brave, bang your drum and be confident in what you can do.”

Sponsor’s comment

“The Sonneveld judging panel were unanimous in the decision to award Macphie Bakery Manufacturer of the Year 2017 – winners from a very strong category filled with some amazing entries. Macphie stood out from its well-prepared entry, to the friendly and professional welcome from the whole team in Glenbervie.

“We had presented to us a very clear plan and vision for the business, which continued to build on a strong performance. This was backed up by the attention to detail throughout the factory and processes used. When this approach is coupled with the clear environmental credentials embraced by Macphie, we had a very worthy winner of this award.”

Peter Egginton, director UK, Sonneveld

Pictured: Peter Egginton (l) and Denise van Outen present the award to Richard Cox