Cardiff Met KITE project gives lift to Welsh food industry
Research undertaken at Cardiff Metropolitan University has shown that pro-active engagement with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food industry sector can achieve actual benefits in terms of food production and food safety management systems. A direct result of this research has been the creation of the Knowledge, Innovation and Technology Exchange (KITE) programme, using £3.9 million initial investment from the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
The programme of underpinning research, which spanned a twenty year period, provided insight into the beliefs and practices of food handlers and crucially demonstrated that mere provision of information is insufficient to bring about significant improvements in food handling practices.
Since its creation in 2008, the KITE programme has impacted positively on many areas of food manufacture and has resulted in £27 million of increased sales, £540k of waste reduction within processing and the creation and safeguarding of over 1000 jobs. The most recent Quarterly Claim Report (to March 2013) has been verified by Welsh Government and shows that, against every measurable criterion, the actual performance of KITE has matched, and often significantly exceeded the contractual target.
“…without this help and assistance from the Food Industry Centre, our business would have been unable to have achieved this growth and without the BRC accreditation we would now not be able to supply many of our customers…” Nick Broughton, Managing Director of Peter Broughton Ltd