University student pays dividends at pie manufacturer

Vale of Mowbray, the pork pie manufacturer, has made cost savings of £100,000 in waste disposal – thanks to recruiting its first-ever graduate trainee.

Liberty Horner, a 23-year-old from Stockton-on-Tees, joined the North Yorkshire-based company as part of a knowledge transfer scheme organised by Teesside University.

She joined the group two years ago and has had an immediate impact, being promoted since then to the role of product improvement co-ordinator.

Sheree Walker, production manager at Vale of Mowbray, said: “She has already saved us a small fortune by changing the way we dispose of waste packaging of raw materials, such as flour, and now she’s looking at new ways to maintain the perfect pastry and helping us to ensure greater consistency in both measurement and quality control in the pie-making process.”

Horner has worked closely with her Teesside University supervisor Dr Liam 0’Hare, a biochemist and food scientist, on the project while working towards her Master of Research in Science (MRes) degree – concentrating on pastry science.

Dr O’Hare, said: “She’s done loads of innovative things off her own back – and together we’ve helped the company to introduce some new technology and new ways of working to better measure and monitor quality assurance and quality control.”

An energy audit was carried out with Teesside University’s CLEMANCE environmental management team, using government-funded Innovation Vouchers and the University’s forensic scientists and the Teesside Manufacturing Centre have also began working with the company, which makes around one million pork pies every week.

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