On the eve of their 70th birthday, Blakemans reflect on their heritage and map out their future
James. T. Blakemans will be celebrating their 70th birthday next year and they have been
reflecting on their history, developments and planning the future of their family business
Starting up in Staffordshire in 1953, the Blakeman family have been producing sausages and meat products that are renowned for their consistently high quality ever since. Despite the scale of the operation growing year on year and the technological advancements they’ve installed, it is their ethos of using the finest ingredients; a robust production process perfected through the generations and a heavy focus on giving great customer service that keeps their loyal customers coming back.
The company have gone from strength to strength since their humble beginnings in a converted barn to the multimillion pound, purpose built facility employing over 290 people that they have today. The size of the operation has not altered their core values however and the family are still very involved in the day to day running of the business.
As well as looking to the past and evaluating their strength in the market at present, the big birthday has offered up an opportunity to set goals for the future as well. James T Blakemans have not been strangers to investing in their company over the years and this is set to continue going forward. Having already stared work on an online ordering system and app for the convenience of their customers they are committed to concentrating their future efforts and resources on further reducing the company’s environmental impact.
Recently they have switched all of the refrigeration systems throughout the production process, completed an upgrade to all of the lighting throughout the manufacturing plant and even ensured that all of their food waste is used to create renewable energy by a 3rd party, using an anaerobic digester.
Another recently completed project was the instillation of two new inline ovens in their purpose built cooking plant. One replaced an older model with the other being an additional unit. These instillations have seen an increase in production volumes by 50% whilst simultaneously reducing energy consumption per kg produced.
Carrying on from this, they have received delivery of 2 new temperature controlled delivery trailers for newer, more efficient units, with a further 3 on the way. They even considered the environment when completing the designs for the trailers, changing out the dark blue colours of Blakemans tradition for designs which are predominantly white. These changes should mean that the refrigerated units will not need to work as hard to combat heat absorption on sunny days, saving on fuel consumption. Steve Collinge (Operations Director for Blakemans) said:
“At Blakemans, we do not have a static approach to reducing our environmental impact. We are constantly evolving in a bid to over-achieve upon the regulations and guidelines that we are given and that we have set out in our ESOS (energy saving opportunity scheme) and SECR (streamlined energy and carbon reporting) schemes. It is a top priority for us as a business.”
As one project comes to fruition there are always others waiting in the pipelines. Their next steps are already well under way, including the installation of solar panels at the production facility and changing over their systems for the temperature control of production areas to more efficient ammonia systems.
It seems that Blakemans is still in full stride at 70 years young. Reflecting on the milestone anniversary Managing Director, Phillip Blakeman said:
‘Here we are, on the verge of 70 years in business and what an adventure it has been so far. It is a testament to the importance of family values that we continue to run the Blakeman business.
This milestone is not something that we have achieved on our own though, a huge part of our success has been down to the people that have worked with us along the way. We have had in the past, and still have, an exceedingly hardworking team of people operating throughout all levels of the business. We, as a family, are incredibly proud to have worked alongside so many dedicated staff throughout the years.
Thank you also to our customers and supporters for their patronage and loyalty, none of this would be possible without you. We look forward to supplying our quality products to you all for many, many more years to come.’
If you’d like to find out more about Blakemans products and services then please visit Blakemans.co.uk or speak to your local supplier.