Pasty firm’s productivity grows thanks to Cornwall’s fire service

Pasty firm’s productivity grows thanks to Cornwall’s fire service

An award winning pasty maker has boosted its productivity, saving money and man hours, thanks to a new scheme in Cornwall.

Crantock Bakery produces over 15million Cornish pasties a year from its factory near Newquay, but production was being repeatedly hit by unnecessary call outs by the fire service, thanks to poorly placed smoke and steam detectors.

Now the company has eradicated false alarms by redesigning its production facility, working closely with the Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service.

Stopping the unnecessary call outs has benefited the business and the vital emergency service, saving on the high cost to fire teams, and ultimately, the public.

Tracey Weeks, Operations Manager at Crantock Bakery, said: “We were experiencing high levels of call outs and all of them were false alarms. This was costing us money every time. We have 30 crimpers on the production line, crimping four pasties a minute so productivity is high and every time we had to shut down and evacuate, it hit the business.”

The business, which sells a variety of foods to shops and supermarkets across the country, worked with the fire service as part of the Better Business for All (BBFA) project. A partnership between Cornwall Council’s regulatory services and the business community, it aims to provide regulatory advice and guidance that can save companies time and money.

The BBFA partnership is being driven by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is designed to boost the county’s economy.

Stewart Whitworth, Newquay Station Manager for the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The company is very proactive in developing new food lines to try to maintain their market share and this is an area which has caused some problems in the past with fire alarms being caused as new products are tested.

“I was able to give them some advice in relation to changing some alarms from smoke detectors to heat detectors on the production line area, which greatly reduces the likelihood of a false alarm.

“The result is that the number of false alarms has reduced, the number of times we actually have to respond has therefore reduced and for the company, productivity has increased, with less down time from their staff being evacuated from the building.

“I have also been able to advise the company on fire related matters and they have now appointed a new member of staff who is predominantly working to reduce further the risks of fire and very importantly ensuring that fire safety matters are embraced by all staff.”

Praising Stewart for the support he has given Crantock Bakery, which includes regular fire safety audits, visits and follow up phone calls, Tracey added: “Stewart helped us to understand what was happening and how to address it. Having him come on site has allowed us to focus on the things we needed to change and we have put all of his advice to good use.

“He has been here to help us to keep improving and pushing forward. It has been a real success to link up with the Fire Service, not just for us but also to save the emergency service from having to attend unnecessary and costly false alarms.”

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP is one of just 11 early adopter ‘champions’ of Better Business for All in the UK, a national initiative led by the Better Regulation Delivery Office, part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

LEP Board Director Sarah Trethowan said: “As new Chair of the Better Business for All steering group it is great to see the very real benefits the programme is having on Cornish businesses. The improvements Crantock Bakery has made as a result of this support are helping the business save time and money, and boost productivity.”

Better Business for All is being managed by a steering group which includes small and large regulated businesses in Cornwall, the Federation of Small Businesses, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership and representatives from a cross-section of regulatory services at Cornwall Council (including Environmental Health, Licensing, Trading Standards, Fire, Planning and Building Control).

Businesses can access regulatory advice from Cornwall Council on 01872 324444 or