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150 years of John F. Seyfried & Sons Ltd.

The earliest history of the company shows that at the end of the 18th century John Christian Seyfried -- the proprietor of the Coach and Horses in Maddox Street, London -- conducted a small trade preparing vegetables, meat and eggs in salt at his Inn. The raw products, which were all available locally, were then, after curing, sold to ships chandlers.

By 1842, the company had become established with offices in Eastcheap. Some of the products shown on an 1890 price list are very similar to those being traded today; they included spices, herbs, orange pulp, fresh garlic and onions, vegetables in brine -- also Caviare at 7 shillings per lb.

Some extracts from the Seyfried sales ledger in the period 1892 to 1897 read as follows:
1 Keg Curry Powder to Bovril -- 80/-
2 Hogshead Gherkins to Chivers, Cardiff -- 60/-
3 Bales Camomile to Goodall -- 58/-
1 Bale Liquorice Root to James Taylor, Glasgow -- 25/-

Records show that at the turn of the century dried vegetables started to be imported into the UK from France and Germany, mainly for sale to the War Office for supply to British troops in South Africa. At this time it is of interest to note the prices, per hogshead, Seyfried were paying for brined vegetables -- 35 shillings for onions, 43 shillings and 6 pence for gherkins and 21 shillings for cauliflower.

In 1930 the company moved to modern offices in King William Street, EC4, where they stayed throughout the Blitz, in spite of being bombed once.

After a further move to the West End of London in 1960, it was decided to move to their present location at Mickleton, near Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire, in 1969, where Seyfried's also became actively engaged in the bringing of vegetables for the pickling industry.

Through increased trading they continued to be leading suppliers of ingredients to the UK manufacturing industry, specialising in dehydrated products, canned fruit and vegetables.

In 1988, John Beeton Seyfried, chairman and majority shareholder, retired and the company was acquired by Sutcliffe Speakman Plc to become the main company in their trading division.

Current Activities

Seyfried is one of the foremost ingredient suppliers to UK food manufacturers and over the years has established links with the majority of UK companies.

Seyfried represents only quality producers of ingredients from around the world and with the ever-increasing emphasis on stringent specifications, approved origins, etc, this policy is paying increased dividends in terms of a significantly larger portfolio of UK customers. In line with BS 5750/IS 9000 requirements, all their main suppliers are closely scrutinised and have the ability to consistently supply products within the required specifications. Seyfried have recently engaged a qualified food technician to coordinate customer specification demands, in line with BS 5750, and to instigate a programme for their own accreditation.

The company's main food ingredients supply activities can be broadly divided into three categories:

1. Dehydrated Products 2. Fruit Products 3. Food Chemicals plus 4. 'New' Ingredient Projects

1. Dehydrated Products

This includes traditional dehydrated vegetables and herbs, Seyfried being one of the leading importers of onion and garlic products. They represent Sodeleg of France, one of Europe's most modern dehydration plants specialising in onions and carrots, produced to specifications which are significantly more stringent than those for standard ADOGA USA onion powders. From the contract onion grower to finished product leaving the factory, Sodeleg closely control the entire process. Sodeleg use the latest Sortex microprocessor controlled sorters to ensure maximum product quality/purity. A newly equipped laboratory allows them to closely monitor all factory output and supply customers with detailed specification information. Two varieties of onion are available in kibbled, minced and powdered form, and likewise carrot is available as granules, powder, dice and flake.

Seyfried also has approved Turkish sources for red and green bell peppers and their long association with Trutas of Turkey has made them a leading UK supplier of the highest quality Turkish dehydrated bell peppers as flakes, granules and powder. From other approved sources, they can offer virtually any dehydrated vegetable in piece or powder form, including all 'quick cook' vegetables.

Seyfried are agents for Obi Pektin of Switzerland, a major supplier of quality spray dried, vacuum dried and drum dried vegetable/fruit powders. Their brand name, Spreda, is known throughout the world for premium quality, especially their tomato powder range. Through their unique cold air spray drying process, Obi Pektin produce tomato powder which, with its maximum retention of raw material colour, flavour and taste, is unrivalled. This type of tomato powder is ideal for applications where the highest quality and the tightest specifications apply, eg, baby food, dietary or health products, etc. They can also offer spray dried tomato powder to meet the bulk UK demand. Obi Pektin produce more than 50 varieties of fruit in powder, flake or granule form all to the highest specification -- ideal for baby foods, for example.

Danish Freeze Drying Ltd is also represented and they offer a comprehensive range of freeze dried herbs, fruit and seafood products. DFD has a reputation for producing high quality freeze dried products which readily meet the strict requirements needed for instant rehydration ingredients. DFD closely controls every step of the process, which is critical to the production of freeze dried products. They offer a full range of herbs including a new range of premium chive products which, with their very low bacterial count, are ideal for soft cheese production. Their range of freeze dried seafood and fruit products is well known for its high quality and tight specifications.

One of Seyfried's newest and most successful agencies is MC Technologies of France. MC Technologies, part of the Limagrain group, produce a wide range of maize grits and flours. With MC Technologies products, Seyfried has been able to take advantage of the explosion in UK corn snack sales. Maize grits are also used in cornflake manufacture and maize flours are widely employed in batter mixes, coatings, sauces, etc. For corn snack production, MCT can meet manufacturers' extrusion requirements. MCT have a fully automated mill capable of processing 60,000 tonnes of maize per year. Only maize seed selected through the Limagrain Genetic Engineering programme is used by the 1500 contract farmers and the whole growing programme is totally controlled by MC Technologies.

2. Fruit Products

Seyfried is a major UK supplier of Chinese and Fijian ginger, and there is an increasing demand from confectionery and food manufacturers for ginger in all forms, for use in ethnic dishes, for instance. Prunes are also an important product area and approved established sources allow them to be a leading UK supplier. A full range of canned and frozen fruit, glace cherries, dried fruit and nuts is also offered.

Seyfried are one of the major importers of tomato paste in cans and aseptic packs from approved sources in Greece, Turkey, Italy and Spain, and work closely with Demirci Dis Ticaret AS in Turkey and with Alsat in Spain.

3. Food Chemicals

As a supplier of soyabean lecithin, Seyfried work closely with Central Soya and are well established with all the major UK users of lecithin. Through Cheil Foods, they are also major UK suppliers of MSG and ribonucleotides, and are able to meet current UK customer specification requireemnts; they also offer specialised yeast products.

4. 'New' Ingredient Projects

Butter Buds, manufactured by Cumberland Packing Corp of the USA are now being marketed by Seyfried in the UK. This range of natural dairy concentrates, derived from the enzymic treatment of milkfat, can be used to bring richness without fat to product applications. Butter Buds are available in various forms -- as a paste, a liquid and a water-miscible powder. In terms of flavour, one part of Butter Buds is equal to 8 to 80 parts of butter. Application areas include soups, sauces, beverages, confectionery, bakeries and in the meat industry as a masking agent.

J. F. Seyfried have now formed partnerships with top EEC approved poultry product processors based in Europe, and will be benefiting from the considerable UK demand for specialised poultry products. They can offer a full range of poultry for manufacturers, including frozen cooked and raw hen meat, and frozen or fresh chicken (broiler) meat. With the increasing year-round popularity of turkey meat products, they have now established sources of supply in France and envisage a rising UK demand.

Suppliers to the Food Industry Established 1842

Seyfried are firmly established as one of the leading UK ingredient suppliers committed in terms of quality in meeting the ever increasing demands of UK food manufacturers, and in line with these current requirements are actively pursuing BS5750 accreditation.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Food Trade Press Ltd.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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