Meet the Team: Jason Fewell. Engineering Director.
- Written by Abi Wilson, Brand Manager
Jason Fewell on 15 years at Wyke, Ivy’s Dairy & Teamwork making the dream work…
I have worked at Wyke for 15 years (this week as it happens!). I love working for a forward-thinking company that doesn’t just ‘talk the talk’! All the team here are very much part of the family & management genuinely care about those who work for them. I think this is reflected in everyone. We have some of the best people I have ever worked with; from Sales and Marketing to Packaging & Distribution, you really get that family feel wherever you go, which in some cases is exactly that with generations of the same family working here.
As Engineering Director, I put a real importance on maintenance. We have a huge variety of machinery to maintain & my team to an excellent job of this. Food Manufacturing Engineers are some of the most versatile in the industry. We do not rest on our laurels – the whole team are keen to develop our technology and design which means we are constantly improving. Wyke will always respect the traditional values of cheesemaking but are also embracing new and innovative approaches. This environment means that we can nurture talent from the ground up. Both of our site Managers are former operators who are now fully qualified electrical engineers; not only does this fill me with pride, but it also means that they are able to see both sides of a problem. They literally know the process inside and out. We currently have several promising apprentices in the engineering department – being able to help young talent reach their potential is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. My team are my friends and my support.
We currently have several promising apprentices in the engineering department – being able to help young talent reach their potential is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.
In 15 years, I have had many highlights at Wyke. One project that stands out is the commissioning and building of our Anaerobic Digestion Plant. The completion of that project meant that Wyke runs on 100% renewable energy, as do several local villages. Pretty impressive stuff given that the waste we use would have previously gone to landfill! Following this building a low energy wastewater reuse plant where we recover 80% of the water, we use on site for cleaning the plant.
From winning the European Sustainability Award to being first dairy to achieve the Carbon Trust Triple Standard (waste, water, and energy) just confirmed that not only did it make good business sense but it also fantastic for the environment – something that is always at the forefront of our mind as a business.
In recent years, demand for our cheddar has grown, particularly in export markets. And with cheese that tastes this good it is no surprise! We have recently completed the build of an energy efficient 2200 tonne maturing store at our Wincanton site & now we begin the highly anticipated build of Ivy’s Dairy. A 10000m2 production space which will ensure that our production of cheese and butter are fit for the future.
I am so excited for the future at Wyke, the last 15 years will be hard to top – but with a team & cheddar like ours it will be easy!