Students learn how to maximise their produce at the Food Technology Centre

Second-year Agriculture students, the food producers of the future, attended dairy and butchery workshops at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Food Technology Centre in Llangefni

Coleg Glynllifon students learned how to maximise the value of meat and dairy produce at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Food Technology Centre.

Level 3 Agriculture learners attended workshops with food technologists Julia Skinner and Karl Jones at the centre in Llangefni.

Julia showed students how to earn more from dairy farming by making products such as cheese, ice cream and yoghurts, which they then manufactured themselves in a practical session.

Karl, a master butcher, demonstrated the different cuts they could make from a lamb carcass, and how they could get the most from their meat by selling a ‘lamb box’ direct to consumers.

The students learned how to diversify, maximise their profit and make the most of seasonal produce - gaining valuable knowledge to take back to their own family businesses and into their future careers.

Julia said: “We aimed to demonstrate how dairy farmers can add value to their milk by manufacturing a wide range of products such as cheese, ice cream, yoghurts, butter and bottled milk.

“With all the dairy equipment in full swing, students were hands-on with all the processes and got to taste some of the final products. We hope that some may go on to choose dairying as a career to generate additional income for farms.”

Karl said: “It was great to welcome the Glynllifon students and staff to The Food Technology Centre, for a butchery demonstration themed around selling lamb through a box scheme direct to the consumers.

“We talked about seasonality and how the seasons affect lamb sustainability and quality, and the convenience and consumption that consumers are looking for.

“We also looked at how we could use this to add value to sheep farms within Wales. If we could inspire the students to think about starting a farm meat business, that would be promising.”

As the food producers of the future, Glynllifon’s students will be able to continue benefiting from the first-class facilities at the Food Technology Centre (FTC), which plays a key role in transferring knowledge to the industry in Wales, the UK and internationally.

The centre has three processing halls, sensory booths, a fully equipped analytical laboratory and a testing kitchen, featuring a wide range of modern equipment on an industrial scale which is used to develop and trial new products.

Food producers in Wales can access technical support from the FTC via Project HELIX, which is funded by the Welsh Government.

The students were certainly inspired by what they learned at the FTC, with Osian Mills saying: “It was really interesting to see other ways to profit from your business. It’s good to learn how to put a bit of money in your own pocket.”

Cassy Jones said: “I’ve learned that doing it yourself is a great way to promote your brand. If you promote and create it yourself, you can sell to local people and boost the local economy.”

Gwion Pritchard added: “It was interesting to learn how to add value to our produce. It made me think of different opportunities for our own farm.”

Megan Jones said: “It was good to see how you can take one product and turn it into something new. It was a good way to spark new ideas.”

Rhodri Owen, Coleg Glynllifon’s Farm, Forestry and Innovation Manager, said: “The aim was to show the students how they can diversify, make the most of their produce and maximise their profits. They’ll then be able to take this knowledge back to their own farming businesses and into their future careers.”

Wyn Davies, Coleg Glynllifon’s Agricultural Advisor, said: “The Food Technology Centre at Llangefni is a great asset to food producers in North Wales, and of course to us at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.

“Our students will be able to keep accessing support from the Food Technology Centre during their own careers as food producers, and that support will be there for them right up to the point of sale and towards developing new products for their customers.”

  • If your food and drink company is based in Wales you may be eligible for Project HELIX-funded support from the Food Technology Centre. Eligible companies have access to a range of support. Project HELIX is funded by the Welsh Government.

For more information about Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Food Technology Centre, click here.