Preparing for the future!

Over the past two weeks, Hazeldene has invited groups of pupils from Fred Longworth High School to visit our site for a mock recruitment day, helping them to prepare for the world of work once they leave school next summer.

The pupils spent a day at the Hazeldene offices, learning about different departments and job roles as well as having a tour of the factory to help them gain a better understanding of production within the food industry. The pupils also took part in mock interviews, allowing them to build in confidence, reflect on their skills and experience, and gain an insight into the types of questions they may be faced with in a real life situation.

Martin Ainscough, Head of Applied Learning at Fred Longworth High School said: “The children have learnt so much from their time spent at Hazeldene. Often it is difficult for the students to engage and many of them have very low confidence levels, but the experience has definitely had a positive impact on them, thank you!”

The sessions form part of our plans to build on our partnership with Fred Longworth High School and our ambitions to help our local communities. We have a further two sessions scheduled for March 2013 and so we look forward to offering our support to the young people of our future.

Pupils from Fred Longworth High School

Pupils from Fred Longworth High School

Running shoes on!

Helen StephensCongratulations to Helen Stephens, Customer Development Executive, who completed the Liverpool Marathon on Sunday 14th October. Helen gained a fantastic time of 4 hours 4 minutes and raised over £400 for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Reflecting back on the day, Helen said

“The marathon was a surprisingly enjoyable experience despite the penultimate 4miles being a real test of stamina, especially after the appropriately called Heartbreak Hill! The atmosphere and sense of achievement were amazing, as was raising money for a very good cause. The best moment was coming out of Liverpool tunnel into a mass of drums, light and people, and sprinting to the finish once it was in sight. Now I know I can do it, next time I will be even faster!”

You can still sponsor Helen by visiting

Hazeldene is investing in its people!

Investors in PeopleColleagues at Hazeldene deserve a well-earned pat on the back after achieving Investors in People Silver.

The Wigan salad processor, which employs about 250 people, impressed their Investors in People Specialist with team work, efficiency and the workforce’s attitude to the company’s values.

Ian Hunt, Managing Director of the business on the Martland Park Industrial Estate, said:

“This is a brilliant result and an achievement everybody in the business should be proud of! Investors in People is a new initiative for us which we took on with the aim of continually making Hazeldene a better place to work as well as ensuring we invest and develop our workforce in the best way possible.

“I’d like to say thanks to the team for all their dedication to Hazeldene over the years; it’s a fantastic place to work with a fantastic workforce.”

We’ve unearthed some Little Gems!

Hazeldene UK Variety Trials 2012!

Simon Hendry and Nick Walker

Simon Hendry and Nick Walker

This year we have once again run our UK Variety Trials.  We invited our customers to the trial site at Len Wright Salads in Tarleton to share with them some innovations in leaf colour, flavour and shape, along with exploring some new farming techniques.  The trial this year was a themed trial which allowed customers to concentrate on the various different facets of commercial, agronomic and technical development of Hazeldene salad products.

Amongst a whole range of established varieties we explored a number of new innovative leaves from babyleaf products through to multileaf varieties, not forgetting novel innovations such as direct drilling.  Our Agronomy team lead the trials out in the fields, educating customers on the latest products in the market and coming up with ideas to suit individual business needs.

The trials this year were a huge success and feedback from our customers has been fantastic.  The NPD session back at the Hazeldene development suite really helped to bring concepts to life, allowing customers to try out new ideas and cook up some tasty recipes.

Hazeldene shine at KFC Awards!

Hazeldene named as New Supplier of the Year 2011 at this years KFC Awards!

The evening was held on the 15th March at The Radisson Edwardian Hotel in London and was attended by over 200 people.

Here at Hazeldene we would like to say congratulations to all the staff for all their hard work in making the launch to KFC such a success.  Hazeldene were praised for their ‘text book execution’ and have gained the award after just 5 months of supply.

Well done everybody!

Official Pic

Hazeldene colleagues enjoy the great outdoors!

29During March two Hazeldene employees spent a weekend in Ullswater in the Lake District with pupils from The Fred Longworth High School, helping the children to learn new skills and enjoy the outdoor adventure.  Here, Ian Calvert, Engineer at Hazeldene tells us about his experience.

Looking forward with excitement to the weekend ahead I did wonder how I would deal with groups of teenagers, what have I done?

Agne Grubinskaite and I volunteered to mentor groups of year 11 students from Fred Longworth School, Wigan, accompanied by teachers: Lucy Dalton, Martin Ainscough & Pete Agnew.

The activities plan was amended slightly due to the poor weather. Friday allowed for a brief introduction and familiarisation with the area. We split into groups and spent some time on the assault course, where we set a record time scaling the 12ft wall, (12 people in 55 seconds) followed by tunnelling through a long network of very narrow underground pipes.  Later we did the jog ‘n’ dip, followed by a run around the grounds and a swim in the lake. The water was approx 4 degrees!

Saturday was Gorge Walking.  Equipped with waterproof suits we set off up the fells to a series of rivers and waterfalls, all fast flowing, through caves and waist deep in places. The freezing conditions made this quite a challenge and the students learned how teamwork, patience and determination could lead to them achieving goals that they may never have considered.

Saturday night, kit–up, debrief and off we went up Place Fell to camp for the night. After a hike of two and half hours, mostly uphill we made camp, exhausted and very hungry. We erected the tents and cooked supper, beef casserole in a bag! Best meal in a long time. The morning brought freezing temperatures, snow and high winds, which made cooking breakfast a new experience. Back down the mountain and rendezvous at the beach, to meet the boat.  We all cheered until we discovered that it was to be powered by us.  A crash lesson in getting 12 novices to row a boat in a straight line, resulted in us mostly zigzagging our way back the 2 miles, to the centre. The dream of a hot shower was our fuel.

In conclusion I was sceptic; the youth of today does get a lot of bad press. This group of youths/young men and women are an absolute credit to their school and their teachers. They faced every challenge with grit and determination, learned how to reassure and be patient with their comrades, to set targets and work hard to achieve their goals .They should be very proud of themselves.

Personally, I realised that most people have some skill, however well hidden. Patience, encouragement and reassurance won the day.  Agne and I would like to thank Hazeldene and The William Jackson Food Group for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this awesome adventure.

Hazeldene takes on London Marathon Challenge!

Runners: Vlad Lukjanciks and Dan McLoughlin

Runners: Vlad Lukjanciks and Dan McLoughlin

On the 22nd April 2012, two of our Hazeldene employees are set to take on the London Marathon Challenge in support of The Outward Bound Trust.

Vlad Lukjanciks and Dan McLoughlin are hard in training, preparing to run the 26 mile event and they would greatly appreciate your support.  The marathon will be a real test of stamina and determination and will push them to their limits to reach the finish line.

The boys have a big target to reach but its achievable with all you help and support.  We know all of your donation will go to help as many young people as possible to have access to safe, adventurous, experiences through which they can raise their self esteem, realise their full potential and achieve more than they ever thought possible.

If you would like to sponsor Team Hazeldene please visit or contact Victoria Kennedy at

A slice of Christmas cheer!

Marian Dewson

Marian Dewson

One of our Hazeldene employees has been getting in the festive spirit and baking up a treat!

Marian Dewson, Senior QA Inspector from Goods In, has shown great talent making this fantastic Christmas cake.

Marian started carefully crafting the cake in September, and is now looking forward to sharing it with all the staff at Hazeldene.

Well done Marian!

Outward Bound Charity Winners!

photoCongratulations to Hazeldene colleagues Ken McLoughlin, Vlad Lukjanciks, Debbie Paterson and Victoria Kennedy who received a prize last week for raising the highest amount of money in The 2011 Outward Bound Trust’s Charity Challenge.

Set in the Lake District, the team took on a series of outdoor adventure challenges over 2 days, competing against 14 other companies.

On Wednesday 30th November, the 4 colleagues attended a prize-giving ceremony in London and were each presented with an award.

Ken McLoughlin, team leader, said “We were really happy to take part in this fantastic challenge and raise money for this great charity.  We would like to thank everybody who sponsored us and helped us raise almost £6,000.”

Hazeldene hits a hole in one for chari-tee!

L-R: Ken McLoughlin, Lee Hopwell, Stuart Seaton and Steve Lynch

L-R: Ken McLoughlin, Lee Hopwell, Stuart Seaton and Steve Lynch

Last month, four members of the Hazeldene team took part in a charity event held by Iceland at the Carden Park Golf Club near Chester.

Stuart Seaton, Ken McLoughlin, Lee Hopwell and Steve Lynch each participated in a one day golf tournament, competing against a number of other Iceland suppliers.  The Hazeldene team performed well and did the company proud, gaining a high score and making it a tight competition!

The event itself was a fantastic success and raised just under £150,000 which will be divided between Iceland’s two benefiting charities, Alzheimer’s Research UK and The Prostate Cancer Charity.

Hazeldene were delighted to be involved in the event and show support to these fantastic charities.  Well done everyone!