Pioneer Sales on the Crest of a Wave

Employees from Pioneer Foodservice enjoyed a day to remember after the company won a gold medal experience for signing up customers to the EBLEX quality standard scheme.

The company, based at Rosehill, Carlisle, works closely with EBLEX and was awarded the gold award for the amount of customers it signed up to the scheme, which was higher than any other catering butcher in the country.

"We won the gold medal experience which gave us the pick of different sporting activities," said Pioneer's sales director David Jenkins.

Jenkins chose a day that would also reward the employee who recruited the most customers- the sales manager for Carlisle and surrounding areas, Brian Queen. They enjoyed a day's sailing in a 60ft ocean racing clipper on the Clyde from Rhu Marina, near Helensburgh.

"It was a great experience and a wonderful reward for promoting home-produced beef and lamb through our own Lakeland scheme which was set up seven years ago and which is now gaining recognition as a brand in the market place," Jenkins.

"We have had a huge amount of help and guidance from EBLEX whose mandate is to promote and develop English farm-assured produce - which is great news for companies like us and the industry generally.

"Traceability, assurance and provenance are the current catering industry buzz words and research shows that there is increased consumer concern about the origin of meat served in catering outlets," he added.

Companies that sign up to the scheme receive promotional material, including special seasonal packs such as for barbecues, to commemorate St George's Day and currently autumn lamb, as well as recipes and literature highlighting the customer's use of locally-produced beef and lamb.

EBLEX foodservice project manager Hugh Judd, said: "Pioneer's success is driven by the company's team effort and really serious commitment to the local supply chain. They genuinely believe in what they do and the success in achieving this award re-iterates this."

He described the Lakeland brand as the perfect model for transparency and credibility that EBLEX was delighted to be associated with. The whole chain was totally assured and caterers could buy beef and lamb with the utmost confidence.

As well as sourcing as much beef, lamb, pork and poultry in the region, Pioneer looks to include as much food as possible for its frozen and ambient ranges from local suppliers.