The Cooperative Farms image

Case Studies / The Cooperative Farms

Company Profile

CoopFarmsLogoThe Co-operative has been in farming for over 100 years and has around 50,000 acres of land in England and Scotland. They also have several pack houses – of which Langley Brook and Carnoustie are responsible for the potato packing operations.



Co-operative Farms were looking for ways to reduce their operating costs and improve employee engagement in one swoop. Lauras proposed a series of breakthrough improvement workshops at both sites to get a range of staff trained and using the improvement tools to make real changes to the way the sites were operating.


Project Summary

Three workshops were held at each site during which the teams looked at a range of line issues from improving the line controls to minimise unnecessary downtime through to reducing the cycle time on film and product changeovers. They also tackled issues such as improving communication through the site and increasing visibility of issues. Further to the initial project, training was also given to the middle management group at Carnoustie to help to give them the skills required for the management side of their positions.


The Results

Each line speed at Langley Brook was increased by a minimum of 10%. The team, by owning the challenge and through delivering large efficiency and planning improvements, were able to significantly reduce external costs by bringing product washing in-house. This had been attempted by the site management previously but without success.
At both Langley Brook and Carnoustie an in-house CI Manager was identified and trained to then be able to continue the training of further operators after Lauras had left site. The meetings set up during the workshops also ensured that the flow of information and ideas from the shop floor would continue once the workshops were finished – prior to this set up there was no process to get information to or from the shop floor on a regular basis.

“Inspiring the people in our business to understand how they can improve and the business can therefore develop, is an important building block in our drive for improving efficiency within our business. Engaging everyone in the business to realise that we can be better and any little improvement drives down to the bottom line. This has been seen both in the way the staff have engaged and enjoyed the experience and the evidence of reduced costs has helped the business to become more efficient. This process never stops but it is the tools that have been developed by Lauras International that has allowed us to deliver this important work at both our potato pack houses.”

Fraser Scott, Head of Farming Operations Arable/Potatoes



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Firstly, Reckitt Benckiser and Lauras pulled together to improve efficiency levels and there was a focus on both external and internal resources. Before Lauras arrived efficiency was not good. Secondly, there was good methodology and training using operators to support its implementation. Thirdly, there was daily and hourly focusing on performance. Since Lauras left, improvements have been sustained.

Bart Derde, Supply Projects Director (Europe), Reckitt Benckiser

It must be said that the concept of change management which Lauras were asked to bring in was a very big ‘ask’. Their work on the floor was very beneficial to change management. Lauras try to problem solve by using the workforce. This has to be done tactfully. They achieved it. They had the respect of the people on the floor and the management which is a major credit.

Peter Barnett, CFO, KR Castlemaine