The Silvery Tweed technical team plays a vital and wide-ranging role in the smooth running of our operations and in helping to demonstrate to our customers that the products we supply are safe, legal, authentic and of the required quality.
In a role that incorporates everything from the routine testing of products and responding to enquiries to enabling customer audits of our production facilities, our Technical Manager Martin Drewery talks us through what a typical day looks like for him.
My job is never boring and often I must act fast in response to enquiries. My day always starts by checking emails to see whether there’s anything that needs my immediate attention. If there isn’t, I’ll turn my attention to the plan that I put together at the end of the previous day. Technical can be fast-paced and, while I like to plan, we also need to be agile to respond to things as they come in.
One of my first daily jobs is to review the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) alerts. This is an EU-wide system that enables authorities to exchange information about measures that may be required to respond to serious risks detected in the food or feed chain. We are always looking to be ahead of the game, and these alerts allow us to quickly identify and act fast if we discover that an affected product may be in the Silvery Tweed supply chain.
Thankfully, this is a very rare occurrence, but it’s incredibly important to us to be able to act quickly if we need to and reassure customers that all the required steps have been taken to keep their food products and customers safe.
The rest of the morning is spent with the team. A large part of what I do is making sure that they have all the resources and support they need. A lot of the work they do is unseen, but essential to our internal and external customers. Much of my focus is on helping the business grow whilst providing an excellent product and service for our customers. My team is critical to achieving this, and I am always looking at how I can help them carry out their roles more effectively.
Our Monday morning meetings allow the team to share their tasks and projects for the week ahead and ask for help if they need it. It’s also a good chance for us all to get together and catch up on our lives outside of work, which is just as important as it helps build those relationships between us all.
Part of my role involves working with our NPD team, so I will attend the fortnightly NPD meetings. The support that we offer involves investigating any issues around raw materials, ensuring that the team has all the information that they need and setting up labels for factory trials.
Often, my afternoon will start with a meeting with a customer’s technical team. We hold these meetings regularly to keep communication channels open and allow us to talk through any changes or improvements that can be made. Also, as we approve raw materials at Silvery Tweed, we want to demonstrate to customers the due diligence that we use in this process. There’s no better way than talking through that process and being able to answer any questions face to face.
Every couple of weeks, that meeting is likely to be followed by arranging a customer audit. As well as the yearly audits we undergo from the likes of BRC, Soil Association, Red Tractor etc. to reassure customers that our quality standards are up to scratch, many of our customers want to carry out their own site audits so that they can demonstrate full traceability for the ingredients that go into their products.
In any given year, we'll host 20 to 30 of these audits. Each one is important as it gives our customer peace of mind, provides an opportunity to remind them why they do business with us and discuss what we can offer them. They also allow us to constantly refine our practices and improve, which is important to us as a business.
I like to be organised, and I’ll usually end the day by preparing my plan for the following day.
If you want to know more about what our technical team can do to help support your business, or you want to know more about Silvery Tweed Products, then contact us today.