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NEWS ROUNDUP: Sausage maker seeking staff


06/09/21 | A North Yorkshire sausage maker is to start employing prison inmates to overcome a post-Brexit labour shortage.

Heck founder Andrew Keeble has written to local MP and Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, calling for urgent action to tackle the staff crisis in food.

He has even called for the fast-tracking of Afghan refugees being processed to fill the void of workers.

And now he has launched a bid to recruit serving prisoners to train them in food production.

Mr Keeble said: “We are trying to look at as many routes to employ people – whether it’s local people, school leavers or giving serving prisoners skills in food production.

"There is no doubt that lots of prisoners, currently serving sentences, would make great drivers, butchers, bakers and chefs.

"Many other companies such as Timpson and Cook, take a similar approach."

The firm, based in Bedale, North Yorks., is the UK’s largest independent sausage and banger maker.

But it is facing staff shortages in September and said it urgently needs to fill roles across dispatch, distribution, and marketing.

Mr Keeble, who founded the firm, has previously raised concerns over the gap in the labour market for the food industry.

And he even fears the Christmas staple of pigs in blanket could be under threat as production could be cut by a third.

He said: "The biggest issue in the food and supply industry is recruitment and retaining.

"British people don’t see food as a destination career, but we’ve had people starting work for us straight from school, who we have trained up and are now heading up marketing and sales."

The firm has taken to training its own workers to distribute their sausages and bangers to customers to combat the sector’s crippling shortage of hauliers.

Mr Keeble's son Roddy is now filling the gaps and driving up and down the country.

The bangers boss said: “We’ve tried our regular haulier, we’ve tried outside hauliers, but there is no availability, they all just laughed at me when I said I wanted a lorry tomorrow night.

“It’s getting that bad, that’s the only way we can do it.

"Everyone has their view on why there are shortages but the truth of the matter is a huge amount of eastern European people have gone home and don’t want to come back again – they feel unwelcome after Brexit, which is a shame.

“The Government needs to take urgent action. They need to get on top of issuing of settlement codes, we know there are people waiting to come to work in the UK.

"Why not fast track processing of refugees, if these guys want work, then we have it for them."

(SWNS | Ashley Pemberton)



Over the last year, Leeds has increased its recycling of glass by 37%, equating to an extra 57 bottles and jars per household.

Building on this success Zero Waste Leeds with Leeds City Council are running a glass recycling campaign, to say thank you and inspire the people of Leeds to recycle even more glass.

As part of this campaign, three newly decorated glass banks are being installed in Bramley, Crossgates and Seacroft. Sporting colourful designs, created by local youth groups, the glass banks are certain to catch the eye and spark conversations around glass recycling.

The glass banks were transported to their new homes on the 16th of August. To celebrate the launch of the new banks and as part of the ongoing campaign, Zero Waste Leeds have been engaging the local communities around the importance of recycling their glass.

Recycling glass helps reduce carbon emissions and is a vital step in tackling the climate emergency. For every 10% of recycled glass added into a furnace there is a 2.5% energy saving. With 17 furnaces running 24/7 across Yorkshire that is a significant energy reduction.

Cllr Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Housing, said;

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone in Leeds who has recycled glass over the last year, it is a really important step in our mission to tackle the climate emergency so it is really pleasing to see an extra 5,000 tonnes recycled.

“Being able to expand our offering of glass banks is also a significant step in the right direction, especially when the banks are so eye-catching. I would like to thank all those involved in the delivery and design of the bottle banks and I am sure they will serve their communities well.”

Rob Greenland, Co-Director, Zero Waste Leeds, said;

"We were delighted to be able to work with young people in Cross Gates, Bramley and Seacroft to come up with designs for new glass banks as part of our glass recycling campaign.  Each group came up with very different and wonderful designs in workshops with local social enterprises We Belong Here and Seagulls Reuse.   We hope the new banks will encourage even more people to want to recycle their glass.

We're very grateful to Friends of Glass, Allied Glass and Ardagh Glass for funding the campaign, and to The Tribe Youth Group, BARCA-Leeds and Fall Into Place for their work.  Working with communities in the city is at the heart of what we do at Zero Waste Leeds and we’re very proud of this collaboration.”

Did You Know?

Leeds has over 700 glass banks at almost 400 locations. You can find your nearest by downloading the handy Leeds Bins app. Or check out the interactive map on the ZWL website which also shows how much glass has been recycled at each bank in the last year – by weight and converted into the equivalent number of bottles and jars – and the amount of energy saved.

It’s really easy to recycle glass – you don’t need to colour sort it and you can even leave bottle tops and lids on and these will get recycled too. Glass collected in Leeds goes to a local facility, where they sort, process, and remelt 95% of the glass into new bottles, thereby reducing further transport requirements and reducing carbon emissions.

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