International confectionery expert Andy Baxendale is working together with Colombian chocolate producer Luker as it expands the supply of its products into the UK market.
Andy has been invited to visit the company’s cocoa farms and chocolate factory in Bogota once the coronavirus outbreak is over, to give him first-hand knowledge of the operation and how the company’s Chocolate Dream community project is benefiting the country.
Luker will also be able to use his extensive knowledge of this country’s confectionery sector to help its growth in the UK market.
Paul Morris, European Sales Manager for Luker Chocolate said: “We want to give Andy a deeper understanding of Luker and the ethos of the company but also utilise his invaluable experience as we move into the UK market.”
The 113-year-old family company was built on a dream where chocolate is the source of inspiration and the opportunity to transform communities.
Its Chocolate Dream project (www.thechocolatedream.co) is a 15-point long-term vision made up of goals and principles closely aligned with the UN’s program for Sustainable Development.
In Colombia there are 38 thousand cocoa-producing families that were, in the past, victims of the country’s armed conflict and are subject to poverty.
Luker focuses its efforts on contributing to change in these regions in order to improve the quality of life of the farmers and their communities.
Andy – known throughout the industry as The Sweet Consultant – said: “Luker and the story of how it has helped drive change in Colombia and create sustainability is a fantastic example to other businesses and I am excited to find out more and to help the business with its future plans.”
Andy Baxendale, from Wigan, has 25 years’ experience in the confectionery business with a Master of Science (MSc) in Advanced Food Manufacture.
The former product development manager for Chewits in the UK is a respected national consultant in every aspect of confectionery production, with extensive knowledge of regulation and legislation in the industry, advising companies on everything from recipes to staff training and enhanced production techniques.
He was one of the stars of the hit BBC 2 confectionery show The Sweet Makers.
He is currently working to set up a National Academy of sweets to teach a new generation the art of confectionery production and development.
"Luker and the story of how it has helped drive change in Colombia and create sustainability is a fantastic example to other businesses and I am excited to find out more and to help the business."