The importance of a customer first approach at Ragus

May 09 2019

Customers are intrinsic to daily operations at Ragus Pure Sugars. Not only do they form one of our 10 pillars of CSR, but they are at the centre of everything we do at Ragus.

Starting the sugar journey at Ragus Pure Sugars

As specialists in sugar manufacturing, we use the expertise gained from our 90-year heritage to ensure that every customers’ requirements are expertly met. From the initial enquiry through to consultations and then our on-time delivery service, we always place the customer at the heart of the buying process. This approach allows us to serve a diverse range of sectors and quickly react to changing needs.

At enquiry stage, our sales team are on hand to help new and existing customers. A small but close team, they are experts in specialist sugars and have the needs of customers at the heart of what they do. Whether it is to understand more about sugar applications, place an order or to discuss how quickly a product can be shipped, they work with you to get what you need, when you need it.

Alongside this, we have multiple channels designed to assist and guide those making their first foray into the world of sugar purchasing. Our learning zone provides a wealth of field to factory information, while the Ragus Pure Sugars blog contains both topical pieces and in-depth discussions of the processes involved in industrial sugar manufacturing. Finally, there is our product finder, the perfect tool for ensuring you find the ideal sugar product for your application.

Working with our customers as a team

At Ragus we serve sectors ranging from confectionary to pharmaceutical, working with clients as a team to ensure they have the correct sugar application for their specific needs. To establish if we have a product that is suitable, or if a customised product is required, our commercial team often hold a consultation meeting with the customer to fully understand exactly what qualities the sugar product will need for that application. For example, if it needs a certain mouthfeel, tasting profile, colour or viscosity.

Once requirements have been established, our lab team work with the customer to produce the correct ratio of sugars to water and PH level. We send across a sample of the formula discussed, and then there can be some back and forth testing to ensure it meets the need of the end product. An example of this in baking could be when our initially created formula has been tested in a biscuit, but the formula needs adapting to adjust texture or colourisation.

Understanding the exact specification or formula for the product and what it needs to achieve is a crucial part of the process. At Ragus Pure Sugars we are dedicated to working with our customers, because we understand how important it is to get the right tasting profile or mouthfeel, as it can fundamentally change their end product. Once we have perfected the formula, we know it is imperative to produce a consistent product every time it leaves our factory.

Ragus is one of the world's leading pure sugar manufacturers. It sources raw sugar from across the world to manufacture sugars, syrups and special formulations from its advanced UK factory. Ragus ships its sugars globally, delivering on-time and in-full to customers across the baking, brewing, confectionary, and pharmaceutical industries

A customer first approach is a core part of our daily operations at Ragus Pure Sugars

Consistent sugar products delivered to meet customer needs

Every sugar that is produced and shipped to our customers is tested to a high standard to ensure it consistently meets the customers’ requirements. The quality checking process for sugar products involves testing every batch that is made at key points throughout the entire production process. An illustration of this is inverted sugars, which are tested multiple times during inversion and then once more after the process has finished.

We check to guarantee the formula is as it should be, through polarisation (passing light through the product) and we also check the colourisation against a sample. Our lab team understand how important it is that our customers receive a consistent and safe product each time it is ordered, so the product is rigorously checked to high standards to ensure quality.

It is an intrinsic part of our culture at Ragus Pure Sugars to deliver exactly what the customer wants. This core message forms a key part of the daily planning meetings between the sales and factory teams. With a customer focus in mind the detailed planning safeguard that we have everything we need to ensure our products are produced and delivered safely, to a high standard and on time to our customers.

Everything we do at Ragus from resources on our website to our dedicated team, is centred around delivering the perfect sugar application for your product. To find the ideal sugar for your product visit our product finder .

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How do I find my ideal sugar product?

Apr 18 2019

With a product as diverse as sugar, finding your ideal solution can be tough. Here’s our guide to the Ragus Pure Sugars web resources that make your search easy.

How do I know my sugar is ethically sourced?

 

When deciding on where to purchase your sugar product, it is essential to ensure that every actor in the supply chain must be paid a fair wage for the part they play. In addition, the raw materials from which the sugar is produced should always be from a sustainable source that places the health of our planet at the fore. These two approaches are already engrained into the Ragus Pure Sugars approach to operations.

To find out more about this, there are two web resources to consult: our responsibility section and learning zone. The Responsibility resources explain Ragus Pure Sugars’ commitment to ethical sourcing that has defined our 90-year history as an independent importer of natural sugar cane and molasses, with this being evidenced by the accreditations we have received from organisations such as Bonsucro and Fairtrade. In this section you will also find breakdown of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy and how it is integral to both the Ragus Pure Sugars brand and our means of operation.

Our Learning Zone provides the ideal opportunity to discover the journey these ethically sourced raw materials then take from field to factory. The processes we use to achieve this all have sustainability at their core, ensuring resources are conserved and a plentiful supply is maintained for future generations. Used in conjunction, both these web resources provide a comprehensive guide to Ragus Pure Sugars’ approach to delivering products that are ethical and sustainable, meaning you can make an informed choice when ordering your next sugar product.

Liquid Sugar

Our range of web resources are designed to make finding your ideal sugar product quick and simple.

What is the best sugar for my product or industry?

 

As we have seen in previous blogs, sugar is far more than a flavour enhancer. Knowing which of its many variants is best for your product or industry, therefore, can initially be daunting. Thankfully, our products web resources and product finder tool make this process simple.

The product finder is our easy to use resource that makes locating your ideal sugar product quick and simple. It allows you to choose the industry you operate in and then presents a range of sugars based on the product they are required for. Further filters include appearance, taste and texture, three aspects that always underpin any sugar manufactured by Ragus Pure Sugars.

Supporting the product finder tool are the product pages. These provide more detail on the nature of each specific sugar Ragus Pure Sugars manufactures, from crystallines and syrups to custom formulations, further helping you to identify the perfect sugar for your product or industry. Moreover, both these resources also contain contact information should you decide to order from Ragus Pure Sugars.

 

Ensuring reliable delivery of your sugar product

 

Having used the Ragus Pure Sugars web resources to determine the ideal sugar for your product, the next step is to ensure all subsequent orders are delivered on time, every time. Our delivering webpages provide everything you need to know about how our highly efficient workflows and well-honed processes mean we routinely deliver on-time and in-full to a host of customers across the globe.

In recognition of this, we were recently named as a top 20 UK supplier by Nestlé, more information on which can be found in this blog.

At Ragus Pure Sugars, we make finding your ideal sugar product quick and simple. Contact us now to benefit from nearly a century of sugar manufacturing expertise and experience.

 

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How stockpiling affects the sugar supply chain

Mar 28 2019

Brexit uncertainty has caused some of our customers to stockpile. Here we look at the impact this has on the supply chain and how Ragus is equipped to meet demand.

 

What causes stockpiling?

 

Uncertainty is the main reason why businesses begin stockpiling goods. Not knowing what the future of the supply chain will hold requires preparation, with this often taking the form of being ready to combat potential shortages. Having an adequate amount of goods, therefore, limits risk and ensures businesses can still satisfy customer requirements.

In addition, times of supply chain uncertainty mean businesses often seek to quickly load up on goods, which puts considerable pressure on the shipping and transportation processes. The fear of future complications means they aren’t willing to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach and feel far more comfortable with a warehouse full of received goods than the prospect of potentially facing long delays.

An example of this that we are currently experiencing at Ragus Sugars is Brexit. Potential additional tariffs on sugar coming from the EU, and a lack of clarity surrounding border controls and access to labour once Britain leaves the EU, has resulted in some of our customers ordering well ahead of schedule. Sometimes even going as far to ask for a year’s worth of deliveries at before the March 29th deadline! We understand this position, but usually advise against such measures as we are fully equipped to maintain normal levels of customer supply.

Pre-Brexit stockpilng has lead to Ragus Sugars experiencing an unusually busy start to the year

Pallets to packaging: stockpiling’s impact on every level of the sugar supply chain

 

Once businesses take a collective decision to stockpile to combat future uncertainty, the entire sugar supply chain feels the effect. Whether it’s companies producing the packaging materials or the manufacturers of wooden pallets for warehouse storage, the trickle-down effect is far reaching, and, ironically, usually causes shortages. Understandably, end consumers are often unaware of just how extensive the ramifications of a rush to stockpile goods is for every actor in the sugar supply chain.

From a Ragus Sugars point of view, the effect of the recent pre-Brexit stockpiling has been a historically busy first few months of the year. Border delays at Calais due to French strikes have ranged from 15 to 20 hours a day, sending a ripple effect through the supply chain caused by people believing they are witnessing a post-Brexit future. As a result, we have had to utilise our decades of experience and expertise to ensure all customer needs are still addressed to the highest standards.

The recently announced Brexit delay could, in theory, bring an end to this unusually high volume of orders, or see a repeat nearer to the time of the next deadline. However, our customers now have a somewhat less pressing window in which to implement their post-Brexit measures and can plan for possible outcomes, with many already employing a dedicated Brexit employee. But with no tangible framework for exiting the EU currently in the works, we could still be faced with a ‘watching and waiting’ scenario for the next few months!

 

Why Ragus Sugars’ advises against stockpiling

 

While we are fully appreciative of the legitimate supply chain worries our customers have in times of uncertainty, we would not suggest stockpiling as a means of coping. Instead, we advocate maintaining normal ordering schedules, backed by the knowledge that our track record of excellence in this area and supplier relationships means we can meet customer needs. In a Brexit context, this means we are already anticipating the several possible outcomes and developing solutions to address each one of these.

For more information on how to benefit from Ragus Sugars’ 97% rate of delivery perfection, contact us now.

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Heston Blumenthal’s ‘hidden orange’ Christmas puddings are on sale again.

Oct 10 2012

Heston Blumenthal’s ‘hidden orange’ Christmas puddings made my Matthew Walker are on sale again.  There are reports of the delicious pudding being sold on eBay for twice their face value just days after supermarket Waitrose put them on its shelves.

Heston Blumenthal's 'Hidden Orange' Christmas Pudding

Cane Molasses the vital ingredient.

Last year Waitrose sold 75,000 orange Christmas puddings. This year their orders have trebled and the number will be closer to 225,000.

At one point last December the puddings, which sold in the shops for £13.99, were fetching up to £250 on internet auction sites!

The puddings contain Ragus Demerara Sugar and Ragus Black Treacle  and look like traditional Christmas puddings, but when they are cut open they contain a whole orange or clementine, which “releases its citrus oils into the pudding while cooking”,

See the full story here

Click here for a video of how the puddings are made at Matthew Walker

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Heston Blumenthal’s Christmas Pudding

Nov 29 2011

In vogue this season Heston Blumenthal’s Christmas Pudding will be sold out by the end of the week. To avoid being disappointed here’s how to re-produce the pudding at home using the original ingredients with Ragus Demerara Sugar and Ragus Black Treacle.

 

Ragus sugar & Treacle chosen by Heston Blumenthal.

Rose Prince has a video of how to make this beautiful at home to see the video click here

See my favourite home pudding recipe for this wondeful pudding
Serves 10 – have ready a buttered 1 litre/2 pint pudding basin, baking paper, foil and string

Preparation time – 2 days

For the candied orange:

1 orange
1 litre of water
1 kg white sugar
½ cinnamon stick
1 tbsp marmalade

For the pudding:

550 mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants and mixed peel)
1 grated carrot
1 grated Bramley apple
100ml ale
3 eggs
1 tbsp Ragus black treacle
115g Ragus dark brown sugar
115g plain flour (sifted)
1 ½ tsp mixed spice
115 g ground almonds
115g suet

To candy the orange, pierce it several times with a skewer then boil it in the water for 30 minutes to soften. Remove from the water, add the sugar, cinnamon and marmalade and bring to the boil. Add back the orange and cook over a medium heat for about 45 minutes. Cover with a lid for part of the time so the orange cooks evenly. Remove it from the syrup. Dry it overnight on a rack then give it a second 30 minute boiling the following day. Remove and allow it to dry again; the orange is now ready to use.

To make the pudding, put the fruit, carrot and apple in a large mixing bowl and leave to steep for 20 minutes. Add the eggs, Ragus Black Treacle and Ragus Dark Brown Sugar and mix well. Add the flour,spice, ground almonds and suet and mix well again. Make sure there are no clods of dry flour.

Butter the pudding basin, and half fill with pudding mixture. Place the candied orange in the centre of the bowl and add the remaining pudding mixture so it is buried inside. Cover with a disc of baking paper, then take a large sheet of each baking paper and foil. Fold in half then make a pleat. Place the sheet over the bowl and secure with string.

Place in a pan to steam with 4 cm depth of simmering water. Cover and steam for 7 hours. You can then store the pudding for several weeks – before steaming again for 3 hours for the Christmas meal. Serve with butter cream flavoured with Grand Marnier, or clotted cream.

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The Toffee Shop in Penrith, probably the best fudge in the world

May 13 2011

The Toffee Shop, on the left hand side at the bottom of the hill as you come into Penrith was originally opened by the Furnass family just after the First World War and has worked through three families and is now owned by Neil and Pat Boustead.

We are very happy to supply top quality specialist Cane Demerara Sugar to Neil and Pat to make the delicious confection and are currently working with them on new product development with Golden Syrup and Treacle.

Prince Charles mixes in the Ragus Golden Syrup.

                     Prince Charles mixes in the Ragus Golden Syrup.

There are hundreds of fudge shops in Britain so what makes this one so different? – It’s difficult to describe the sensation of eating the fudge – it’s a rich grainy textured like tablet Scottish fudge but smoother and not as sweet, so you can eat masses without feeling sick. Lord Lichfield has been quoted as calling it “the best fudge in the world” and endorses this by having regular orders sent.

The visitor’s book contains such luminaries as Prince Charles and Prince Andrew is known to pop in to pick up some fudge as a mothers day gift.

For more information you can check out the Toffee Shop at http://www.thetoffeeshop.co.uk

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