Macphie host Schools Challenge

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Who has got the golden ticket? Stonehaven-based food ingredients manufacturer, Macphie of Glenbervie, has teamed up with Arduthie Primary School to host a Charlie and The Chocolate Factory-style challenge for fifty seven year olds.

Each of the pupils will receive a golden ticket, which entitles them to become Macphie “employees” for the month-long project. Aspiring winners are participating in a Willie Wonka-style challenge to produce the best brand of chocolate muffins.

During their day trip to Macphie’s factory, the children learned about the science behind chocolate, how to market food and how to run a successful business. They also baked chocolate muffins and cookies in the Macphie bakery. The Macphie mascot “Professor Macphie” gave the children a warm welcome. The pupils must work as a team to develop a new brand of chocolate muffins, design a logo and packaging and create a TV advert or radio jingle. At the end of the month the children will present their completed work to a panel of judges, parents and teachers.

Having worked extensively with both secondary and primary schools, Macphie human resources director, Sylvia Halkerston, is ideally placed to extol the virtues of the benefits of engaging with young people.

She points out: “There are deep concerns in the food industry that the UK is not producing enough food scientists to maintain its worldwide reputation to drive innovation. Image has always been a big negative and the perception that it’s all overalls and welly boots is one we must all strive to shake off.”

As part of their studies, the children have created a larger-than life chocolate factory the classroom.

Arduthie teacher, Mae Kasim, who teaches a class of 29 primary fours, said: “We’ve been studying Charlie and The Chocolate Factory since Christmas and we wanted to incorporate some enterprise into our learning. One of the parents had heard of the work Macphie has done with other schools and we got in touch. We’re delighted to be collaborating with Maphie and the children have come along to learn about food science, see how the business works, what goes on behind the scenes, the people involved, and hopefully they’ll generate some innovative ideas for creating their own muffins. We’d like to thank the staff at Macphie, they’ve given us such a warm welcome,”