Elevating Women in Management
Tuesday 10 February 2015
Leadership & Management Development Programme

The EWIM course was developed by Parity Professionals who have over 23 years’ experience of successfully delivering leadership and management development programmes across a number of business environments.  The focus of the programme was to raise skills and unlock potential to help women climb the career ladder specifically in the food and drink industry. The National Skills Council recognising the need to support the development of women in management agreed to sponsor the initial programme by a 100% contribution. The first cohort of female managers from Dovecote Park attended the programme in Sheffield in December 2012 which included Jo Hardy, Lynn Pilmoor, Trish Parker, Charlotte Mosey and myself.  We were joined by delegates from Greencore, Wiseman Dairies, Muller Foods and Moy Park. Due to the on-going success of the programme further funding was made available at a 50% contribution and so Dovecote Park took the decision to take advantage of this and asked senior managers to nominate any members of their team to attend this course.

We had an excellent response and the following all attended: Rachel Marston - Accounts, Lyndsay Dawson - HR, Nicola Lawrence- QA, Leann Robertson - QA, Becky Leach - Livestock, Laura Masters - Livestock, Harry Allen – Commercial Graduate and Lorna Smith - Production.  They were joined by other delegates from Dalehead, Moy Park and Stonegate (all suppliers to Waitrose).This was a four day course spread over 3 months, with 3 days hosted here at Dovecote Park and a fourth at Dalehead. The four day programme focused on the following elements: - Women into Leadership; Power and Influence; The Business Environment; Managing Change and Assertiveness;and Influencing and Negotiation. Feedback from the delegates about the course as a whole was very positive as detailed below:

  • Some teething problems with Teamwork (the online portal to download materials for the course).
  • Invaluable professional network of Waitrose suppliers.

  • Excellent coaches, thanks to Cora Robinson, Moraig Fitzpatrick and Lesley O’Hanlan for sharing their experiences of different organisations and cultures.
  • Enjoyable content with engaging coaches which facilitated the learning experience.  Delegates left with ideas to continue to develop skills and build on the learning foundations and professional relationships. My personal thanks go to all the delegates who attended all four days, some having to travel some distances to Dalehead and Dovecote; and also to the Parity coaches who travelled all the way from Northern Ireland.
  • Finally excellent feedback came from Estelle King, Cepta Marchant and Sarah Gibbs from Dalehead after a comprehensive factory tour culminating in the Abattoir. They were very impressed and described the factory as ‘Fantastic’.  They were especially impressed by the racking system and made a special thanks to Simon Peters for his comprehensive explanation of and tour of the abattoir.    

  • Penny Marlow,  Human Resources Manager.


    New developments at the Waitrose service counter
    Wednesday 02 August 2017
    We are pleased to see the success of several Dry Aged Cabinets in select Waitrose stores - the latest in a series of service counter improvements overseen by our Development Director David Redman.

    Summer heatwave sees record production levels
    Wednesday 28 June 2017
    The searing temperatures seen across the country in June saw Waitrose customers flocking to stores for barbecue supplies - meaning record levels of production for our hardworking factory staff here at Dovecote! 

    Dovecote Park at 2017 Beef Expo
    Monday 22 May 2017
    We were pleased to take part in the 2017 NBA Beef Expo on Thursday 18th May, where several members of the Dovecote Park livestock team travelled to Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire to represent the business at one of the industry's leading events.

    Waitrose sees fifth year at top of Business Benchmark in Farm Animal Welfare
    Monday 23 January 2017
    We were pleased to see Waitrose ranked - for the fifth year running -  in the top tier of the Business Benchmark in Farm Animal Welfare, a leading global animal welfare audit which assesses food businesses worldwide on their apporach to animal welfare practices. 

    Brand new Christmas products for Waitrose
    Monday 12 December 2016
    Merry Christmas from the team at Dovecote Park! To mark the Yuletide season, our NPD team have been hard at work developing a range of Christmas products for the Waitrose shelf! This Christmas marks the launch of bacon wrapped sirloin medallions and British beef rump, along with a dry aged sirloin for the Waitrose1 line. We caught up with the NPD team for a taste of the brand new products.

    Dovecote Park at the Waitrose Farming Conference
    Wednesday 02 November 2016
    We were delighted to see the hard work of some of our producers recognized at the 8th Waitrose Farming Conference, held on November 1st at the Telford International Centre. 

    Dovecote Park producers featured as Beef Farmer of the Year finalists
    Monday 15 August 2016
    We are delighted to announce that two producers who supply cattle to Dovecote Park have been named as finalists in the upcoming Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year award, to be announced in London on October 6th. 

    Dovecote Park reaps benefits from wind turbine
    Friday 29 July 2016
    Dovecote Park are constantly looking into methods to become a greener business and reduce our carbon footprint, as well as reducing our energy costs. Our latest venture has seen an addition to our Stapleton site, in the form of a 50ft wind turbine, from which we have already seen considerable benefits.

    Dovecote Park products feature in brand new Waitrose1 launch
    Thursday 16 June 2016
    Waitrose launched Waitrose1 its first premium range this month, the supermarkets first range in nine years. Among the 800+ products included in the new range are nearly 20 from Dovecote Park - including several existing products given an exciting re-brand, and a few brand new ones!

    Dovecote Park at 2016 Beef Expo
    Monday 23 May 2016
    On Friday May 20th, our Livestock team were among 140 trade stands at the 2016 NBA Beef Expo, one of the most important events in the beef sector calendar.

    Dovecote Park staff make another visit to Plumstead Manor School
    Thursday 10 March 2016
    On Tuesday 8th March, Laura Masters (Livestock) and Robyn Simpson (Commercial) visited Plumstead Manor School to share their experiences within the beef industry with a group of female secondary school students.

    Waitrose receive top ranking in Business Benchmark in Farm Animal Welfare
    Monday 01 February 2016
    We are delighted to report that Waitrose have been ranked in the top tier once again in a global animal welfare audit, conducted by the Business Benchmark in Farm Animal Welfare.

    Producers defend their titles at 2016 Carcase Competition
    Friday 22 January 2016
    On 21st of January, over 100 producers, Dovecote park employees and Waitrose representatives gathered to our Skellingthorpe plant to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Dovecote Park Carcase competition.

    PICTURED: Will Brocklehurst accepts the Champion Native prize.

    New Christmas joints for Waitrose
    Saturday 12 December 2015
    We are delighted to announce the launch of two brand new products for the Waitrose Christmas line, the result of months of hard work from our New Product Development team.

    Dovecote Park awarded A+* grade at BRC audit
    Tuesday 04 August 2015
    We are delighted to announce that Dovecote Park were awarded an A+ grade at our recent unannounced BRC audit on August 3rd.

    Dovecote Park Open Day at JCB and Wootton Lodge
    Wednesday 01 July 2015
    On Monday 29th June, we welcomed over 400 of our producers and their families to the JCB Visitor Centre in Staffordshire for a different take on our annual Open Day.

    Waitrose awarded Best Retailer at CIWF Awards
    Wednesday 10 June 2015
    We are pleased to announce that Waitrose have been awarded Best Retailer at the Compassion in World Farming Retail Awards, held in Milan on Tuesday 9th June. 

    Dovecote Park at Beef Expo 2015
    Friday 22 May 2015
    On Thursday 21st May, the Dovecote Park livestock team headed to the York Auction Centre for the 2015 Beef Expo, an annual showcase which celebrates and promotes the British beef sector.

    Summer 2015 Barbecue range for Waitrose
    Thursday 07 May 2015
    We are excited to announce the Summer 2015 barbecue range, available in Waitrose stores across the country now. This years range sees a re-imagining of successful products from previous years adapted to improve customer satisfaction, alongside several brand new products resulting from months of hard work from our New Product Development team.

    New Boning Hall Management at Dovecote Park
    Friday 01 May 2015
    We are delighted to announce the appointment of Carl Hullah to the position of Boning Hall Manager at our Stapleton plant, and of Leon McDonald as Assistant Boning Hall Manager.

    Highlanders at Dovecote Park
    Monday 27 April 2015
    On Friday 24th April, we welcomed a gathering of Dovecote Park Highland Cattle Producers and Highland Cattle Society representatives to our Stapleton site for a scheme meeting and factory tour.

    Dovecote Park producer honoured by HM Queen Elizabeth II at Maundy Thursday
    Monday 06 April 2015
    We are pleased to report that one of our oldest producers, Bill Shepard from Laughton-en-le-Morthen, Sheffield was among the 89 men who received Maundy Money from HM Queen Elizabeth II at last weeks Maundy Thursday ceremony held at Sheffield Cathedral.

    Producer Profile - Hereford Producer Richard
    Friday 27 March 2015
    Our March Producer Profile saw us visit Richard, in Warwickshire who has supplied our Hereford scheme since its origins in 1998, and who has played a key role in promotion of the breed through the Hereford Cattle Society.

    Women in Butchery
    Monday 09 March 2015
    To mark International Women's Day on 8th March, we spoke to Dovecote Park's female butchers about their experiences working in one of the country's most male-dominated professions.

    Dovecote Park staff visit Plumstead Manor School
    Thursday 05 March 2015
    On Wednesday 4th March, three staff members of Dovecote Park went to visit Plumstead Manor School in Greenwich, London, to speak to a group of over 200 female students about their career paths, and their experience working in the beef industry.

    Waitrose see top result in global animal welfare report
    Wednesday 18 February 2015
    We are delighted to report that Waitrose have been awarded 'Tier 1' status in a global animal welfare audit conducted by the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare which measured the approach to animal welfare of 80 worldwide food companies.

    Elevating Women in Management
    Tuesday 10 February 2015
    Leadership & Management Development Programme
    The EWIM course was developed by Parity Professionals who have over 23 years’ experience of successfully delivering leadership and management development programmes across a number of business environments... 

    EBLEX Live to Dead Event
    Wednesday 28 January 2015
    On Tuesday 27th January, we held the first of our 2015 Live to Dead Cattle Grading Events at our Skellingthorpe plant, in association with EBLEX's Better Returns Programme...

    Dovecote Park 2015 Annual Carcase Competition
    Friday 23 January 2015
    On Thursday 22nd January, we welcomed 130 of our producers and their families to our Skellingthorpe site for the ninth Dovecote Park Annual Carcase Competition, a highly successful event which displayed first hand the high standards of husbandry upon which we pride ourselves here at Dovecote Park...

    Producer Profile: Cattle Connect producer Mark
    Thursday 15 January 2015
    For the first of our 2015 Producer Profiles, we sat down with Mark, one of the producers on our Cattle Connect scheme, to discuss his experiences with the scheme and take a look at his unique cattle housing system...

    Producer Profile: Highland Producer Robert
    Thursday 11 December 2014
    With the Christmas season in full flow, and our Highland Cattle scheme now in its seventh year, we went to visit Robert Phillip - who has supplied us with Highland Cattle since 2007 - to discuss his experiences with the breed and with rearing cattle for Dovecote Park...

    David Gunner receives Royal Smithfield Club award
    Wednesday 03 December 2014
    We are delighted to announce that our joint Chief Executive David Gunner has been announced as the recipient of the Royal Smithfield Clubs Bicentennial Trophy, one of the most prestigious awards in the UK meat industry...

    Dovecote Park wins Product Innovation Award
    Thursday 13 November 2014
    Dovecote Park is very proud to announce our recent success at the Waitrose Supplier Awards 2014 our Dry Age Hereford Range won the Product Innovation Award...

    Producer Profile: Ron
    Monday 20 October 2014
    For the first of our Producer Profiles, we caught up with Ron, one of Dovecote Park's longest serving producers, who has supplied us with Aberdeen Angus, Commercial and Hereford cattle since 1998...

    Dovecote Park Open Day 2014
    Wednesday 24 September 2014
    On Friday 19th September, around 80 of Dovecote Park’s producers were welcomed to our Stapleton plant for the Dovecote Park Producer Open Day. This was the first time we had attempted a factory tour on this scale, and we were delighted to receive such a high turnout...

    Dovecote Park and Waitrose Producer Open Day 2014
    Tuesday 05 August 2014
    Tuesday 3rd June saw 130 of Dovecote Parks producers gather at Home Farm in Withcall, Louth for the Dovecote Park and Waitrose Producers Open Day, graciously hosted this year by the AW Smith and Sons family...  

    Dovecote Park wins Meat Management Award
    Saturday 07 June 2014
    Dovecote Park were highly honoured to see our very own joint chief executive David Gunner take home the Meat Management Excellence Award at the 2014 Meat Management awards on June 4th...

    The Royal Visit
    Monday 22 July 2013
    On Monday 22nd July, Dovecote Park was honoured to welcome HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales to our Stapleton plant, where he undertook an extensive tour of the entire site, from the lairage and abattoir, through the boning hall and dry-age chiller through to retail and dispatches, meeting  the Dovecote staff in each department, and witnessing first-hand the plant operations...