News article

1 February 2012

Pupils 'milk' Robert Wiseman Dairies for business tips

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Today (1 February), Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead MSP visited pupils at Eastbank Academy in Glasgow to see the results of an exciting project where pupils were tasked with setting up their own business and creating a new product.

S3 pupils at Eastbank Academy and Robert Wiseman Dairies were brought together through the Scottish Food and Drink Federation's schools programme: 'A Future in Food', which has already worked with over 3,000 pupils across Scotland to raise awareness of careers in industry and help teachers to deliver the curriculum for excellence.

While studying for an Enterprise and Employability Award, pupils were given exclusive access to Robert Wiseman Dairies' expertise and knowledge of running a profitable business. This partnership has brought the subject to life for pupils and helped them get to grips with what it's like to work in one of Scotland's most successful industries, food and drink.

The pupils were challenged to become business people for a year. They created their own product 'Milky Twist: loaded with moooberries' and learnt where milk comes from, how it is produced, procured and processed, pricing, nutrition, sales and marketing, and were also given the lowdown on key business strategy including managing overheads, margins and everything else that is part and parcel of running a successful business.

Demi Laird, (14), Managing Director of 'Milky Twist', said:
“During this period I have learnt to develop my leadership skills and gained confidence speaking in front of groups of people in my capacity as Managing Director.”

The pupils are now selling their product to parents and pupils with profits going to charities Help the Heroes and the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
“Scotland's food and drink sector is a real growth industry with our fine produce gracing dining tables at home and abroad as well as providing an economic boost for our nation.

“The enthusiasm of the Eastbank pupils for this project clearly demonstrates the potential to help young people develop valuable employability skills while getting a taste of the varied career options on offer in the food and drink industry. I'd encourage more businesses to get involved, as Wiseman's has, and help to mentor the employees of tomorrow.

“The Future in Food Programme, supported by the Scottish Government, is helping youngsters to make the connection between the food on their plate, what they learn in school and future career opportunities. Not only this, but the sale of milky twist should help the Eastbank pupils serve up a welcome donation for two local charities.”

Sandy Wilkie, Wiseman sales and marketing director, said:
“Wiseman is a key part of local communities as a supplier of fresh milk and as a major employer, and being part of this project has seen our staff work with the children to equip them with skills and experience to help them make a success of 'Milky Twist' and help them in their future careers."

Flora McLean, Director of the Scottish Food and Drink Federation, said:
“By using the food industry as a context for learning, we are setting young people up with key skills they'll need for future employment. The food industry can offer many rewarding opportunities for young people and through these innovative partnerships we hope to encourage the next generation into our industry”.

Bailie Jean McFadden, Executive Member for Education, said:
"This is a wonderful enterprise project and the pupils and staff at Eastbank Academy are to be congratulated for their enthusiasm and hard work. Not only are they learning about how to run a business but they are raising valuable funds for charity at the same time. I'm sure their 'Milky Twist' will do a roaring trade in the school and local community."

Photographs of today's event will be available on FDF's Flickr site.

Notes for editors

  1. The Scottish Food and Drink and Federation is the voice of the Scottish food and drink manufacturing industry – Scotland's largest manufacturing sector.

  2. A Future in Food is an innovative national programme, established and rolled out by the Scottish Food and Drink Federation. It helps teachers, pupils and parents better understand the food and drink manufacturing sector in Scotland, highlights the wide variety of careers on offer and explores the routes to access them. Working with schools and food manufacturers, the programme facilitates the creation and development of valuable educational partnerships that support A Curriculum for Excellence. It is funded by the Scottish Government and Skills Development Scotland.

  3. The food and drink manufacturing and processing industry in Scotland will need to recruit approximately 16,000 new workers between 2007 and 2017 to meet demands (equivalent to 34% of current employment levels). This includes 4,000 managers and senior officials; 1,000 professionals and technical roles at the high-skill end of the spectrum, 3,000 process, plant and machine operatives and 3,000 elementary roles. (source: Improve Ltd.)

  4. Replacement demands are relatively high for the Scotland manufacturing industry. Between 2007 and 2017, the industry will need to find a total of 42,000 recruits to meet demand (17% of current employment levels). (source: Improve Ltd.).

More information

For further information please contact the FDF press Team:

Nicki Hunt on or 020 7420 7132 -
Rebecca Wilhelm or 020 7420 7140 -
Sarah Jenkinson or 020 7420 7131 -
Anna Taylor or 020 7420 7118 -

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