Brexit – Get Ready For The New Rules From January 2021

If you’re a food manufacturing business owner, it’s likely that you’ve got a lot on your plate right now. From new year strategies to IR35, there’s plenty of areas that need your attention. Not to mention the fact that Brexit is just around the corner. 

While it may be one of the last things on your mind, it’s important to get ready for the January deadline. Once the transition period comes to an end, the rules for both food and drink manufacturers will immediately change. But don’t panic. We reveal what you need to know here… 


Food labelling

As a food and drink manufacturer, you’ll already be aware that to sell specific products, the labels must be clear, easy to understand, permanent and not misleading. But the rules for what should and shouldn’t be on a food label are changing. 

These changes will affect everything from the country of origin labelling to the use of the EU emblem. And, there will even be changes to organic food labelling. More information can be found here


Importing and exporting

If you wish to continue to import and export products between the UK and the EU after January 2021, you must obtain what is known as a GB Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. 

Once you have this, you’ll need to decide whether or not you want to hire an import-export agent, or make declarations yourself. Then, you’ll need to contact the organisation that transports your products to determine whether they must make the declarations for you. Plants, plant products and animals will also be subject to new import and export processes. 


Marketing standards

From the 1st January 2021, marketing standards inspections will continue as normal, but there are some products that may be subject to changes. These include fruits and vegetables, hatching eggs and chicken, beef and veal, wine, poultry meat and hops. 

If your business exports any of these to the EU after Brexit, you’ll need to meet the specific marketing standards requirements as set out in the EC marketing standards regulations. This may change in the near future, so it’s recommended to keep your eye on the official government website for further information.


What can I do now? 

One way you can prepare your business for Brexit is to hire people who truly understand the new rules and regulations. Not only that, but people who can take your business to the next level – compliantly. 

Whoever it is you’re looking for, Silven are always here to support your recruitment – before, during and after Brexit. Our knowledgeable team has years of experience and is able to source the right talent for your business. To find out more about how we can help, don’t hesitate to contact our advisors today by calling 0161 832 7463 or emailing

April Fools 2019 – The Best Posts From the Food Industry

Love or hate April Fools and the cringe it can bring, but it can also bring some pretty brilliant posts. This is to highlight some of the best April Fools posts in 2019 from the food industry.
The first one on our list today is one from Pizza Hut, with the announcement of a dog delivery team called M.U.T.T AKA Mini Urban Transportation Team. Extra points for the cute puppy, who certainly makes us wish this were real. What dog lover wouldn’t want this?

McDonald’s had a couple of good ones this year, but our favourite is the “shake sauce” dips they announced. What makes this really work is that we all know someone who dips their McDonald’s chips in their milkshake, and looking at the comments, it seems that there are quite a few people who wouldn’t mind this being a real thing even if it makes us shudder.

Next up we have yet another dog themed post (apparently, it’s dogs, not cats, that rule the internet on April Fools?) from Starbucks. They literally announced a Starbucks for dogs called, you guessed it, Pupbucks. There’s even an admittedly great video to go alongside it, so if you’re after your daily dose of cute, give it a watch.

Recycling, reusing and reducing waste is becoming a primary concern for many businesses, and what better way to do it than an edible coffee holder? Dunkin Donuts announced the Super Dough Holder, a giant donut that doubles as just that. Sounds sticky.

Speaking of sweet treats, our final pick for today is going to be something from Halo Top. Again, we actually wouldn’t mind this… so many of this year’s April Fools pranks have got us thinking, “why can’t this be real?”

This time, we have an edible ice cream face mask being announced. A lot of people manage to get ice cream just all over their face anyway, right? The “face masks” even have sprinkles in, for that all important exfoliation.

OPERA Big Give: Everyone’s a Winner

A man perches next to a Decorated Christmas tree.

We are very excited to announce that our campaign for the The OPERA Global Youth Foundation (OPERA) Big Give Challenge won best social media award.

OPERA is the recruitment industry’s youth employment foundation. Their goal is to empower young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to find, gain and stay in work.

In one week, the recruitment industry was able to raise £51,146 for this fantastic cause. Thank you to everyone who took part, donated and believed in this incredible charity. Check out the video below to see how we got involved.

Triple celebrations as Silven rookies pass IoR training


Just six months into their recruitment careers, three of Silven’s consultants are celebrating passing their IOR training and gaining an industry-recognized accreditation.

The three consultants, Roberta Radzvilaviciute 21, Daniel Philbin 23 and Daniel Fitzsimons 28 all started their IOR training in May and within a month had all passed.

The training is designed to assist new recruiters to the industry with the skills and knowledge necessary to do their job properly.

The units cover the processes of recruitment including researching and resourcing, client development, process management and personal effectiveness.

Roberta says the best parts were, “learning different techniques, as well as learning ways on how to get as much from a phone call as you can, whether you’re ringing for a reference, sales call or candidate. There are so many different questions you can ask!

“It also gave me a deeper insight into improvements I can make to my daily routine so I get the most out of it.

Daniel Philbin, who was previously a tennis coach says, “The course was structured in such a way that it was easy to do and was bite-size chunks of information going along, rather than too much at once. The best parts were learning about relationship building with clients, business development, client call structure and debriefing.

“I think it has massively benefited me as I can now revert back to it whenever I am struggling with something; key learnings – how to build your desk more effectively, organising yourself and setting goals.”

Daniel Fitzsimons who was an actor before he joined Silven adds, “I gained a lot of information on all aspects of recruitment, particularly how to structure calls to both candidates and clients. It made me think more of taking action to gain success and the foundations of recruitment.”

The course is excellent and one that makes you think outside the box, it teaches the recruitment process and how to be successful.”

Recruitment Manager John Pollard says, “Roberta, Dan F and Danny P joined us in February of this year and they all immediately impressed with their attitude, work ethic and personality.

“Once they had settled in, we started them on the Institute of Recruiters, The Complete Recruiter course which is an intensive 28-day programme and it came as no surprise when they came through with flying colours.

“I’m proud of all three of them in what they have achieved so far in their first year in recruitment and there is much more to come.”

All three recruiters said the one thing that sticks out in their mind is the mantra taught throughout the course, “Theory without action is useless so take action, MY success depends on it”


John Pollard Completes Cycle Tour for charity

john pollard

We’re quite a fit bunch here at Silven and we’re always proud when one of our team takes part in a charity challenge. We like to do our bit and have taken on various team challenges in the past including Tough Mudder and Rough Runner. However, our Permanent Recruitment Manager John Pollard and five of his friends flew to the French Alps last week to take part in the (what some would call grueling) Le’Etape Tour, we asked John a few questions about his experience and why he took part:


What inspired you to take part in the L’Etape challenge?


In November 2011, a friend suggested we try this event called L’Etape du Tour. It’s run every July, at the same time as the Tour de France.

It involves cycling one of the mountain stages of that year’s tour. I love cycling. Well, I’ve always loved watching it, so I was excited about the opportunity to cycle the same route as the professionals and challenge myself in the mountains.

I entered and completed the L’Etape du Tour in July 2012 and did it again in 2014. Both events were in the Pyrenees. Last November, the stage that would be used for the Etape du Tour in 2017 was announced and it was in the Alps. And it was a cracker!

It would, for the first time ever, culminate in a summit-finish at Col D’Izoard, at an altitude of 2360m. I had to enter.


You get about you do John! Why did you choose this particular challenge? 


As above but also… I used to enjoy road running. I did the London Marathon several years ago, but my knees won’t take it anymore.

So, cycling offers me an opportunity to stay fit and I actually prefer it. You cover a greater distance and get to see some spectacular views whilst out on the bike.


The knees are all part of getting old, but you look fit as a fiddle to us! How long did you train for and what did it involve?

I started training as soon as I’d entered. Last November, I slowly ramped up the distance I covered with each ride and the frequency of the rides. I’m fortunate in that I get to cycle to work, so I’m getting on my bike almost every day.

Having picked up a couple of injuries with two months to go, I was concerned about my fitness, but regular physio treatment helped me get back on track. I was on the bike all the time in the final few weeks, either commuting to work or training on the rollers, during the week, and then out on big rides of 80 miles or more at the weekend.


Phew! I am tired just listening… How about the challenge itself?


The 18th stage of the 104th edition of the Tour de France started in Briancon, in the French Alps, covered 178km, including 4000m of climbing.

We went South from Briancon before heading East and then back North up into the high mountains, going up and over Col de Vars (2109m) and then up to the summit finish of Col d’Izoard, at 2360m (7743 feet) above sea level. The last 10 kilometres before Izoard were above 9% of average gradient!


Oh, and it was about 30 degrees in temperature!


What were the best parts of the challenge?


Without doubt, I enjoyed some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever experienced. The roads around the magnificent Lac de Serre-Poncon, provided me breath-taking views that were then matched by those whilst climbing and then descending the Col de Vars.

Of course, crossing the finishing line was a great feeling!!


Blimey! Now that’s what you call an achievement! What were the most challenging parts of the event? 


The climbs up Col de Vars and Col D’Izoard. This L’Etape was much tougher than in 2012 and 2014. The steep gradients and the length of the climbs meant that there was absolutely no respite. It was totally unforgiving and I’ve never seen so many people get off their bike and walk.

(I’m glad to say that I didn’t!)


I think I would be a walker too, or a crawler maybe… How did you feel after the challenge was complete?


Amazing! I was never going to stop, no matter how tough it got, particularly as we were doing it to raise money for a fantastic charity, Prostate Cancer UK, which is very close to my heart and many of us.


What would you say to anyone wishing to take part in a challenge of this kind?


Start training as soon as possible. You don’t need to go on really long rides straight away but just do a bit of training very often, ideally every day. Then slowly ramp it up from there, increasing the distance and the difficulty, i.e. more hill-climbing!

But, definitely do get involved. The event is an incredible experience and the sense of achievement is very rewarding.


Do you have any future ambitions for similar challenges?


Well, I’d like to do it again next year, for starters. So, the training starts now…


Well done John, we’re all very proud of you!


(At the time of writing this article, John had raised over £2,000 for Prostate Cancer, with donations still coming in?)

Being a recruiter at Silven – 6 months into the role

Daniel Philbin at work station, smiles for camera.

We love it when people join us and make the most of the opportunities on offer at Silven. In January, we took on a few new people to align with our growth and we are delighted to say they have all been an asset to the business.

We interviewed Danny Philbin at his six-month milestone to find out more about his journey so far and what he likes about being a recruiter

Explain what you do at Silven?

I recruit for Technical and NPD roles, then the odd bit of HR and commercial on the side, mainly in the Midlands alongside Emma, my mentor.

Can you describe your six months at Silven so far?

It’s been challenging at times, mainly because I changed sector from scientific to food & drink, but I’ve settled into the team, learnt a lot and made my first few placements, so the plan is to keep improving.

What do you like most about your role?

I like speaking to candidates to find out what makes them stand out and have heard some brilliant achievements, especially when speaking to NPD candidates.

How have you found the training and support on offer?

The training was good and pretty full on for two weeks before we were let loose on the phones. Now I’m learning every day by listening in to everyone and what they do differently.

Having Mr. Organisation (John Pollard) as a manager, I have to be very organised and this has worked well for me so far. Working in the same patch as Emma is great as she passes me vacancies.

What have you enjoyed most during your time here?

The most enjoyable part of the job is success, there’s no better feeling than making a placement.

I have also enjoyed getting involved in the Food Freaks & Geeks reviews, even if I can’t pronounce basil. I also enjoy a beer or two with the team on a Friday after work.

What have been your biggest challenges?

My spell in scientific was a challenge as a whole, talking to candidates about synthetic organic chemistry is pretty tough! One of the toughest parts of the job is when you are going through a quiet patch and don’t have many jobs, so you can feel the pressure.

What have been your most memorable moments?

We have done a lot this year at Silven, but my favourite times have been the Crystal Maze Team Challenge in April, for all the wrong reasons, I gave it the big un’ then couldn’t deliver.

Our Snowdon Charity Trek in May was amazing and the party in the cottage we stayed in afterwards got a bit mental.

Taking on my first job was quite a memorable moment as for somebody with a D in Science, I sounded quite convincing when talking about chemical analysis.

Oh, and probably the most important, making my first placement.

Who are your favourite people here and why?

It’s hard to say I have “favourites” as I get on with everyone in the office but BIG Dan and I get on really well, probably cause we both enjoy a good feed, but on a serious note – he is always the first to give praise and brings some fun to the office (could improve on the strength of his brew’s though).

Paul, you can always count on him cheering you up with a laugh if you are a bit down and he has helped me massively since moving in to the food team, his aim with a cricket ball is pretty decent too.

What are your future ambitions/plans for your career at Silven?

I’m still a newbie and even more so in the food team with this being my second month, so my aim is to start billing regularly.

I had a decent first month, so if I can keep it up I should exceed my targets and then take it from there.

What would you say to someone considering a career in recruitment?

I’d say 100% go for it. It’s tough work and you have to be the right character, but if you get knocked back and keep on going – then you will be a success.

Silven Recruiter gains top industry accreditation


Silven are delighted to announce that one of our recruiters has gained a top industry qualification.

Paul Cannon, 38 has passed the British Institute of Recruiters Complete Top Biller training, becoming the first in his ‘hub’ to do so.

The course is designed for anyone who has over 18 month’s experience in recruitment with an established client base. The course is the only one of its kind where students must apply the techniques learnt and prove an increase in their billings to gain the accreditation.

Paul, who specialises in Engineering, Operations, NPD and Technical started the course after encouragement from MD, Ian Simkins. Paul says, “Ian thought it would help me get to the next level in my career. Always one to try and better myself, I jumped in with both feet.

“I can honestly say I enjoyed the course. Some of the highlights were about building your brand, spin-selling and improving the client/candidate management process.

“I like the way the course is delivered. It allows you to understand in your own way. The assignments were not too bad, albeit a little-time consuming as you had to put down some targets which you would be judged on at the end of the course.

The course wasn’t without it’s challenges. Paul adds, “To start with, it was to complete all the assignments on time, with details on how you can improve and develop.

“It made me ask some uncomfortable questions to clients and candidates alike with regards to my service, which was an eye-opener.

“Bringing what I learned into the day to day process was not too hard, it was more about identifying when you did perform that process.”

Paul feels he has gained a lot from the course and plans to use these skills moving forward in his recruitment career. He says, “It has made me better, more rounded and knowledgeable with regards to the processes in place on a day-to-day basis.

“Asking better questions, listening to what they are not saying as opposed to what they are saying.

“I feel the benefit will truly show its potential once my business plan (Hannah keep model) starts to pay off.”

Trainer Hannah Keep commented, “Great work Paul. You really did deserve to pass looking at the work you have put into the course and especially looking at ways you can differentiate yourself.

“You are the first person to pass this course from a hub which I think is an even bigger achievement because you have had to do it all yourself. You have been committed to developing yourself and this in my book deserves a lot of recognition.”

Ian Simkins says, “Paul really applied himself and embraced the whole course and got some great results on the back of it.  Well done Paul!”

Paul worked in menswear retail for 16 years before deciding on a career change and has now been in recruitment for five years, covering permanent roles in Yorkshire and the surrounding areas.



We’re hiring!

Recruitment Consultant


The market is busy. People are moving. We are growing.

And we need some help.

We recruit for the food industry.

We want people from the food industry to help.

We think this is a good idea.

We know a lot of great recruiters who have come over from working in food manufacturing. It’s not for everyone, but it can be hugely enjoyable and you can make a difference to real businesses and people.

· You’ll work in a nice office with a bunch of sociable people who will also have your back.

· Because we want you to be good and to be successful, you’ll get a lot of high quality training.

· You get to go around the country and see loads of different factories, meeting key people along the way.

If that doesn’t sound too bad, here’s some stuff that sets us apart:

· We win awards.

· We have a great exec team.

· We have ambitious growth plans backed up by a non exec who built a recruitment business from £3m to £250m in 6 years.

Still with me? Awesome.

Recruitment really can be pretty tough, if you aren’t cut out for it.

You’ll be repeatedly doing things you don’t feel comfortable doing.

You’ll be working in a very fast paced environment.

You’ll be surrounded by smart, driven people who will expect a lot of you.

When it’s busy, it’s really busy.

Oh, and a large part of your job will be interrupting people. On the phone.

If you do this well, you can really add value.

We’ll train you, but you need to be aware that this is part of the job.

Sound interesting?

Get in touch.

Silven welcomes Elle Twomey to the team

Woman smiles for a photo at her workstation.

We are delighted to welcome Elle Twomey to the Team

Elle joins Silven as a recruitment consultant to continue our success providing recruitment services to food and drink companies, specialising in engineering on the Interim Team.

She comes with a wealth of experience, having spent the last three years in transactional finance recruitment. Elle says, “I offer a bespoke service within Interim Engineering specifically within the food & beverage industry. I’m a people person and love to get to know my candidates/clients on a personal level and hope to build strong relationships whilst at Silven.”

Interim Manager Jeremy Pierce says, “Elle has started with us from a competitor to cover our all of our interim engineering work.

“She brings with her a bubbly personality and has previously spent some time recruiting for engineering in food and drink before, and really enjoys speaking to engineers and engineering managers.

“She has also tasted success early, placing someone in her first week!

Elle continues, “My ambitions are to build my desk, bring on new clients and in the future build a team. I aim to portray Silven’s values as a company in every piece of work that I do.’





Silven Recruitment launches Interactive website and online magazine

Silven Recruitment are delighted to announce the launch of their new fully-featured website

The new website is a hub of information to reflect the growth of the brand and what the company has to offer to clients and candidates in the food, drink and scientific industries.

It has been specifically designed with the user-journey in mind and to promote each consultant in a more informal manner.

Whilst the website has a comprehensive list of jobs on offer, its intention is to reflect the business as a whole and to showcase the experience of the recruiters who work there.

In addition to the website, a further platform, has been developed to form part of the overall content strategy.

Project Manager Kerry Voellner says, “We reached a point in the business where our old website didn’t fully reflect our brand and decided we needed a new one to be our digital starting point for visitors.

“We included the whole business in a brainstorming day to form our web strategy. Using the ideas pooled from everyone helped us to get an idea of what would be needed for the site to be more interactive and to showcase what we do more creatively.

“Working with Melt Design in Warwickshire, we are very pleased with the results and look forward to developing our digital presence further with our two new platforms.”

Managing Director Ian Simkins says, “Our website is not just about our company, but about the individuals who work here and make it happen.

“Including them from start to finish has helped us to build a website which not only reflects what we do as a business, but the expertise of our consultants and the great job they do in hiring the best food, drink and science talent out there.”

Matthew Eldridge, Owner of Melt Design says, “The Silven site was a fun project to work on.
Not only are they are a great company and lovely people, but they are very future focused.

“They are dedicated to consistently using content marketing to promote and market their services; this is very refreshing to see in the recruitment industry. I’m sure with their approach, and the new website they’ll see great results.”