Gill Orde in Catering Ltd, based in Kelso, in the heart of the Scottish Borders, has crafted an enviable reputation providing friendly, bespoke and indulgent catering throughout Southern Scotland and Northern England. Using the very best of local and seasonal produce from the Borders region the team of talented staff can provide either wholesome or decadent award winning cuisine.

The company founder, Gill, arrived in the UK some 40 years ago when her love of cooking took her to the Cordon Bleu School of Cookery London.  The skills learned there and the dedication shown through her career in London and Edinburgh are distilled into the high standards of quality and service she garners from her team in the Borders.

The Business Challenge

Interface met with Justin Orde at the Scottish Enterprise Winning Through Innovation event in 2009.  A follow-up meeting was arranged to discuss possible support that could be offered for the development of their innovative online software programme which fulfills the requirements for a documented food safety management system.

Gill Orde in Catering Ltd had recently set up a joint venture with Deepserver Partnership (a trio of web developers) and together were developing an IT solution aimed at relieving some of the administrative burden of adhering to European food legislation. If proven, this software could potentially be rolled out across the UK and beyond.

The Solution

Having established the specific requirements, the Interface team identified five different Scottish academic research groups who could assist in the development.

Initial discussions were held with the University of Strathclyde's Dr Raymond Wong and Dr Tara Beattie of the Department of Civil Engineering, who after meeting with the company to establish their needs, pulled together a research proposal and funding applications.

The Benefits

The University of Strathclyde’s Engineering Faculty has recently awarded a three year PhD Scholarship to Neil Pratt, a graduate of the Civil Engineering department’s MSc in Environmental Health, to carry out a research project in conjunction with Gill Orde in Catering.

The team have also been successful in their application for funding to the Strathclyde Links project for top-up funding during the first year of the PhD. This would allow Neil to dedicate a significant proportion of his time to meeting the company’s requirements.

The partnership provides an innovative way for Neil and the supervising academics to carry out industrially relevant research whilst also meeting the needs of the company in both the short and longer term.