The food industry is making huge strides in gender equality with females leading and managing teams and businesses across the UK. International Women’s Day on 8th March is a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on the work being done by talented, motivated and inspiring women.
EHL Ingredients in Stockport currently has a senior leadership team of ten women, from chairman, to heads of technical compliance, NPD, sales and operations.
Emma Alonzo is chairman of the company, having started the business with her late husband in 1996. She is an integral part of the business and is involved in day to day running, client liaison and operations, as well as all key decisions.
The sales team is managed and led by Christine Peers who has been with the company for 12 years, and worked in the food industry for over 30 years.
“When I joined the food industry in 1988 it was a very different landscape and it was definitely a male dominated industry. However, I am pleased to admit that it is not something I really think about now, there are so many wonderfully talented women who work in the business and there are opportunities for women to excel and thrive, and inspire the next generation of females in the food industry.”
Kath Davies hails from South Africa and brings her foodie and flavour knowledge and expertise to EHL Ingredients as new product development manager. Qualified in food science, technology and processing she regularly trials and tests new ingredient blends, seasonings, marinades and rubs and scours the globe for the latest in flavour trends.
Michelle Slater leads the technical team as technical manager – she is a chef by trade but after having children and returning to work, she retrained in food technology, safety and security and secured the job at EHL Ingredients after completing her university placement at the company. She now leads a team of three and is training junior staff in the field of food safety and security – and she led the business to achieve its first Grade AA BRC accreditation in 2023. On her team is Elena Mitra, technical compliance officer. She joined the business working on the factory floor and excelled at all the roles assigned to her, and displayed an interest in technical and compliance. The business encouraged and funded her training and qualifications to become a technical officer and she is now well on her career path in this very specialised sector. Gosia Janyst is also on the technical team, having joined the business in 2023 having previously held roles in Quality Control/Assurance within the food industry
Sherill Simm is operations manager and manages the factory floor and logistics. She is responsible for all incoming and outgoing product, and the organisation of teams to complete orders.
Judy Perkins is purchasing manager, responsible for sourcing ingredients and liaising with suppliers around the world.
Recent additions to the team include Faiza Khan as Sales and Purchase Administrator, Rebecca Al-Shafei as sales assistant and Claire Elphick-Wood as transport manager.
Tasneem Alonzo, joint-managing director at EHL Ingredients, says: “We’re so proud of our all-female senior leadership team and International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us to showcase the brilliant work they are all doing.
“We have always had females at the helm – indeed our company was founded by our chairman, Emma Alonzo. The food industry has come a long way and it continues to be an exciting place to do business full of people who are passionate about what they do. We know that many successful food brands and businesses right now are led by women and it’s exciting and inspiring to see women of all ages, backgrounds and cultures thrive, succeed and inspire more to join.
“We really want to encourage and empower women to join our business and make their mark on the UK food industry and we’re recruiting for sales roles within our business over the next few months.
Established in 1996, EHL Ingredients supplies around 320 individual food ingredients as well as over 100 custom blends – all available under its Lähde brand. It offers organic, non-allergen and conventional herb and spice blends including Mediterranean, Levantine, Asian, African and Middle Eastern, Caribbean, South American, and Creole style seasonings, and range of stuffing mixes.
Herbs, spices and blends are available as certified vegan, vegetarian, organic and gluten-free. Products are free from GMOs, irradiation, fumigation, colouring, synthetic flavours, preservatives or additives.
Customers include UK food manufacturers, brands, start ups, retailers, spice brands, meal kit manufacturers, pubs and restaurant operators, chefs and caterers, wholesalers.