A FAMILY will remain at the heart of a celebrated Haddington business.

Bruce Turner MBE has been at the helm of PureMalt Products Ltd since 1972.

Now, more than 50 years later, he has stepped aside, with son Ross, 32, taking on the role of managing director.

Ross, who also lives in the town, was keen to carry on the work of the business, which provides a range of refined malt products for everything from breads, cakes and desserts to beer, seasoning mixes and marinades.

Ross said: “I am immensely proud.

“I think I feel a huge degree of responsibility to not let dad down and not let my colleagues down.

“He was in role since the inception of the business in 1972 and has been at its core over 50 years. Most of that he was in the chair and managing director role.”

The firm, which employs 95 people, as well as more than half a dozen contractors, distributes its products to more than 70 countries on six continents.

It is also involved in the sponsorship of a number of different groups, including Haddington RFC, where Ross previously played.

He added: “There are no plans to disappear any time soon.

“I hope we can be here for another 50-plus years; it would be nice to be here for another generation.”

East Lothian Courier: Ross Turner has succeeded his dad, Bruce, as managing director of Pure Malt ProductsRoss Turner has succeeded his dad, Bruce, as managing director of PureMalt Products

Bruce, who was awarded an MBE for services to business and the economy in East Lothian in 2020, was also confident that the business was in good hands.

In 1972, the shares in the company, then Bermaline, were acquired by the Turner family, and it has been run from then as a private limited company.

The 78-year-old will remain a key contributor in the capacity of non-executive director, and his experience and wisdom will still be there at board level.

Bruce said: “I am confident that Ross, given his experience and enthusiasm, will lead the company with the right strategy which anticipates and responds to changing customer needs and opportunities, and which will ensure the continued success of PureMalt.”

The company has started 2024 by restructuring departments.

Gary Shaw, who joined PureMalt (then Bermaline) in 1984 as a brewing graduate from Heriot-Watt University, has been appointed to the new position of technical innovation manager.

During his 40-year career with PureMalt, Gary has held several different roles in production, quality and new product development.

Ross, who was previously deputy managing director, said: “Gary’s all-round knowledge of PureMalt positions him well to lead our innovation efforts and develop creative solutions for customers in new and existing markets.

“I am confident in Gary’s skills and abilities to bring to life our next generation of products.”

Dr Peter Elderfield has also been appointed quality manager. Peter joined PureMalt in 2015, following 27 years with Heineken UK, where he was quality manager at Heineken’s Manchester brewery.

Ross, who previously played rugby for Haddington and in New Zealand, added: “I know that Peter will bring a wealth of experience to this role and trust that he will build upon the strong foundations and team that we have in the quality department.”

PureMalt operates from the Bermaline Mill, on the river Tyne, just east of the Victoria Bridge, on a site which had been in industrial use for some 800 years.