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.
A collection of articles written by the dedicated staff of Masteroast