Following the unfavourable Burnie Report into the meat plant in Tromode last autumn there are signs that it might be turning a corner.

Isle of Man Meats scored an A+ rating in our recent unannounced BRC audit. BRC Global Standards – the standards and protocol arm of the British Retail Consortium – is a leading brand and consumer protection used by over 25,000 certificated suppliers in 130 countries, with certification issued through a global network of accredited certification bodies.

A BRC Global Standards certification acts as a ‘guarantee the standardisation of quality, safety and operational criteria’ and ensures ‘that manufacturers fulfil their legal obligations and provide protection for the end consumer’. As such, recognition by BRC Global Standards is now often an essential supply requirement of leading retailers and food service organisations.

The previous audit in which the company scored an A was done remotely, whereas this latest one was ‘unannounced’ as Derek explains.

He says: ‘Isle of Man Meats has not had a physical audit for three years because of the global pandemic, and the unannounced audit scheme is considered the most stressful and difficult as it means that the BRC audit could occur at any time with only a 30 minute notice – necessitating that we are always ready to be inspected at any time. ‘We are proud to have received an A+ grade again, representing a very low number of non-conformities, and considered an “excellent” rating within the industry.

‘The A+ grade is great recognition of the efforts of all involved and a boost to all of the team who worked so hard in the last few months to keep us audit ready.’

DEFA Minister Clare Barber said: ‘Progress at the plant has been positive over the past two months, which I am immensely pleased about, however I am conscious that a full turnaround of the business will take some time.

‘A recruitment process is underway for a managing director and new chair of the board of directors, two key roles that will be hugely significant to the long-term success of the meat plant. Focus on key areas of improvement and business development has and will continue to be the priority of the board.’