Eric Pickles MP came to Cleone Foods, manufacturer of Island Delight patties to see ‘Business in the Community’ in action.
Business in the Community was established in 1981 as a response to the Handsworth riots just a mile from the Cleone Factory that employs 50 people and makes more than 100,000 patties each week.
Wade Lyn, Managing Director of Cleone Foods and a Prince of Wales Business Ambassador is a leading member of Business in the Community.
Cleone Foods provides work and training for people from one of the most deprived parts of Birmingham and has a policy of using local suppliers wherever possible.
Despite the economic downturn Cleone Foods has celebrated a successful 2010 during in which it launched a number of new products including the Jerk Chicken pattie.
The company has also increased the number of outlets where its products are sold and works closely with major supermarket chains including Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrison and Asda.
“I hope Eric Pickles went away with an understanding about how a successful business can also take its social responsibilities seriously and improve the lives and prospects of local communities,” said Wade Lyn.
“Employees are not mere units of production but individuals who should be helped to better themselves and provided with real support and opportunities.”
Wade Lyn and Cleone Foods are also part of the 12/8 Group in which six businesses provide mentoring and practical assistance for entrepreneurs.