A message from our Chairman
I am composing this Christmas message prior to the pending election, desperately trying to think of something positive to say, but confess I am finding the task pretty difficult. I do not think I, and for that matter many people I have spoken to recently, have ever felt quite so alienated from our country’s political establishment. It is a sad indictment when the overriding incentive appears to be a vote for the least worst alternative. There can hardly have been a previous General Election having so much potential for such fundamental change to the business environment and consequences for the nation’s economic health.
Can there ever have been year when so much has happened, resulting in so little change? Encouragingly, during the continuing uncertainty and hubris we have all had to endure during 2019, industry in general and Masteroast’s customers in particular, appear have battled on regardless, generally maintaining steady growth.
To more domestic matters, it was with somewhat mixed feelings when we learned that Jonny England and Marie-Anne Rogers, in order to further their careers, would be moving on to new and exciting roles outside the company. We were sad to lose them but delighted to learn of their respective futures in very fulfilling jobs. Jonny moving into a senior coffee role in a highly respected and recognised global player and Marie-Anne, whilst in the process of considering various options as a way of widening her experience, will likely take a buying role outside our industry. We wish them both every success in their future careers and take, not too little, pride in knowing that having begun their careers at Masteroast, their unique opportunity for training and practical experience has played an important part in enabling them to achieve such rewarding prospects.
As most people in the industry will be aware, after working for fifteen years trading green coffees in Kenya, Tanzania, Colombia, Costa Rica and latterly running the US coffee trading operation for a global commodities broker based in New York, Matthew Mills decided to return to this country and has been appointed Commercial Director of Masteroast.
Matthew, who of course, is Eve’s and my son, has not only delighted us all by coming back to the company with his unique experience and wealth of knowledge of all things coffee, but has, along with his lovely wife Diana, brought us the double bonus of our two baby granddaughters, Francesca born 2018 in New York and Carlotta born here earlier this year!
One positive, if slightly whimsical, development in 2019 was that following the shock announcement that The Apostrophe Protection Society was to close due to “the ignorance and laziness in present times”, the society, whose aim is to preserve the correct use of the abused and neglected “apostrophe”, has since received a 600 fold increase in support! Due to the sudden and massive increase in traffic on the society’s website, the server was so overloaded the site was forced to close! Hence, news of the society’s demise has proven premature and is now very much alive, with a new and expanded website being launched in early January. Perhaps the modern-day Philistines’ time has not yet completely come to pass.
It has been customary at this time of year for Masteroast to make a worthwhile contribution to a worthy charity. This year we have decided to make a substantial contribution to Peterborough Cathedral by financing the replacement of the antiquated and troublesome interior lighting system with the latest LED technology. The wellbeing of the cathedral has long been a cause that Masteroast has been proud to support, not least a five-year sponsorship towards the cathedral’s 900th anniversary celebrations in 2018. Not only will the LED lighting system save the cathedral in excess of £40,000 per year, but equally importantly will make a very significant contribution to reducing the building’s carbon footprint.
On behalf of everyone at Masteroast, I should like to wish all of our friends and colleagues in our industry, along with their families and loved ones, a very Merry Christmas, along with a sincere hope that 2020, contrary to the fears of many, turns out to be a year of peace, prosperity and progress.
We're proud to announce that we have recently sponsored a local football team known as Ketton Ladies Football Club.
Ketton Ladies Football Club is a part of Ketton Football Club which consists of 2 male teams, a ladies’ team and a new junior under 11 team. They play and train at Pit Lane in Ketton; matches start at 2pm on Sundays and the ladies have a training session every week on Thursday evenings between 7 and 8. The training takes place on a floodlit area at the edge of the Pit Lane facility.
The ladies play in the S-Tech Cambridgeshire Womens Premier League. The team has gradually improved over the last 3 years culminating with winning the Division 1 North title last season and only losing one league game. They are hoping this improvement will continue and have added new signings to the existing squad over the summer. Currently the squad consists of between 20 – 25 committed ladies ranging in age from 16 through to 40s. The ladies are supported by a manager and assistant manager who also coach them during the training sessions.
In the last year the team have made affiliations with a ladies’ football club in Sweden and also took part in an international 7 a side tournament in Barcelona. They have travelled to Sweden in each of the last 2 years to play the team in a pre-season friendly. They are also looking to take part in the Barcelona tournament in 2020 as well.
Over the past couple of years finding a sponsor had been very difficult they say. They had approached several businesses in the Stamford area without success. They were very fortunate to find not one but two sponsors last season who have sponsored their kit and tracksuits. The tracksuits in particular are very beneficial to the team as they have always wanted to look more professional when they arrive at matches and training sessions. This was very evident when they made the trip to the Barcelona tournament as it gave the players an identity and belonging. It also made the team stand out and they were asked many questions about the tournament and where they were from.
The tracksuits have raised questions about the sponsor such as who they are and what they do. This provides exposure, positive advertisement and promotion. Without the support of sponsors such as Masteroast, the team would not be in as strong a position to attract new players.
Gallstones are awful for anyone who has had the misfortune of suffering from them. If the latest research from the Journal of Internal Medicine is to believed then anyone who drinks up to 6 cups or more of caffeinated coffee a day is up to 23% less likely to suffer this affliction. Just one cup of coffee a day is enough to reduce this by 3%. Going on the stats, if you've suffered from Gallstones in the coffee industry you have either been very unfortunate or have not been drinking enough coffee, this can be the only explanation!
The study was conducted with a sample size of 100,000 people - caffeine triggers the contraction of the gallbladder which in turn prevents the build up of gallstones, future trials will explore this mechanism further.
Masteroast recommend that you enjoy your coffee responsibly and as part of a balanced diet.
Coffee fans can have up to 25 cups a day without worrying about their heart a study suggests.
If you're accustomed to drinking coffee on a regular basis then this latest study published by Queen Mary University of London suggests that you could have up to 25 cups of coffee a day without any negative effects to your arteries.The study started off by dividing 8,412 people into three groups - those who seldom drank coffee, those who drank between one and three cups a day and the third group who would regularly drink more than three.
The third group consumed coffee at an average of 5 a day though some of them would put away 24 cups! The research found that you were no more likely to have artery trouble drinking 25 cups a day than you would drinking only one.
"Despite the huge popularity of coffee worldwide, different reports could put people off from enjoying it," said Dr Kenneth Fung.
"Whilst we can't prove a causal link in this study, our research indicates coffee isn't as bad for the arteries as previous studies would suggest. Although our study included individuals who drink up to 25 cups a day, the average intake amongst the highest coffee consumption group was five"
Dr Kenneth Fung said he's also likely to study this group again in future work so we can help advise on safer limits.
Previous studies on the effects of coffee on arteries have suggested that the extra strain caused by the caffeine in the coffee would put pressure on the heart and increase the chances of a heart attack or stroke. Professor Metin Avkiran associate medical director at the British heart foundation, stated that the study "rules out one of the potential detrimental effects of coffee on our arteries".
All participants that had taken part in this study underwent MRI Heart scans and infrared pulse wave tests, factors such as age, weight and lifestyle (smoking etc) were also taken into consideration.
The health benefits and risks of coffee has varied over time, though no evidence has been found to show coffee as being harmful our best advice at Masteroast is to enjoy coffee to a level that you are comfortable with as part of a balanced diet.
A collection of articles written by the dedicated staff of Masteroast