Reaseheath College’s industry-standard Food Centre is the only educational institution in Britain to receive British Retail Consortium ‘Grade A’ certification, and the first to be selected as a Centre of Excellence for Dairy by the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink. As such, it commands huge respect within the food and drinks industry. The £7.4 million facility on Reaseheath’s Cheshire campus includes operational areas for dairy production, bakery, butchery and industrial food trials. Consequently, Reaseheath students are trained to high standards recognised across the food industry and possess the practical and theoretical skills employers require. The Food Centre houses the Eden programme, a bespoke training programme aimed at producing world-class staff for the fast-expanding dairy industry. The concept was created after key players such as Müller, Arla and Dairy Crest identified a shared need for a cohesive approach to training and to fill skills gaps. The project now enjoys investment of £1 million annually from a growing number of partner companies including Tetra Pak and Siemens. Employers see immediate return on their investment as Reaseheath graduates put their new skills and understanding into practice in the workplace. Peter Clark, a Technical Project Analyst with Dairy Crest, completed a student project focusing on monitoring moisture levels in dairy spreads. His research has already improved his company’s efficiency of production, saving time and money. Another graduate, Balazs Szalisznyo, a Continuous Improvement Facilitator with Müller researched pasteurisation efficiency. His recommendations have been implemented and he continues to make a positive impact at his workplace. This collaborative approach is typical of the many partnerships Reaseheath has forged with companies of all sizes, from blue chip to business start-up, which use the Food Centre’s facilities and experienced staff to develop new products, forming part of the real-life scenarios in which students are involved.