Thursday, 7 November 2013

Visiting Ginsters

This afternoon I joined some of my cabinet colleagues on a tour of the Ginsters factory in Callington. We all know that Ginsters pasties aren't the same as those our mum makes or our favourite high street bakery (for me it's Barnecutts). But there is a heck of a lot to be proud of about the brand and their products.

Ginsters is a nationally known brand, one of the few we have in Cornwall, employing over 800 people at their Callington factory. When you add in the sister companies of Tamar Foods (also in Callington) and Kensey Foods in Launceston, that's well over 2000 people in Cornwall - one of the biggest private employers we have.

And a huge proportion of their supply chain is local too. They get much of their beef from Jaspers of Treburley or from Bodmin, their potatoes are mainly from Hay Farm near Torpoint and most of their packing boxes come from DS Smith in Launceston.

But it is the scale, speed and automation of the factory that really takes your breath away. The three bakery lines turn out around 10,000 pasties or slices an hour each with state of the art machinery. Vast quantities of puff pastry is made on site and combined with vegetables, meats, sauces and spices to create a wide array of products. Even if you don't like the pasties, there are many other ranges which are genuinely very good.

I'm proud that Ginsters are part of Cornwall and that they have such a great recognition and commitment to quality. It's also clear that they will continue developing and extending their range and investment in Cornwall. The company already invests in its workforce and many of their staff have a very long service record. I think there might be more they could do with an apprentices scheme, but there is more that the council and other public bodies can do to help them too and I look forward to doing so.

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