First Milk to share storage space and cut transport costs

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk, First milk

Storage and distribution firm Grocontinental has clinched an agreement granting dairy business First Milk the use of its recently completed £3m, 7,432m2 multi-temperature warehouse to store its cheese.

The move has enabled First Milk to consolidate its cheese into one central store and centralise its storage base at Grocontinental’s headquarters in Whitchurch, Shropshire. Cheese brands stored at the site will include The Lake District Cheese Company; Pembrokeshire Cheese Company; Mull of Kintyre and Scottish Pride.

The cheese is transported by Grocontinental from Scotland, the Lake District and west Wales. The warehouse’s position ensures the cheese is close to First Milk’s cutting plant and core customer base, reducing transport costs.

“Centralising the storage of our products at Grocontinental has been a key move and has resulted in many improved efficiencies,” said Chris Gooderham, First Milk’s general manager: supply chain and strategic products.

“We can now respond to short lead times and react quickly to customers’ needs.”
Grocontinental’s commercial director Hugh Jones said: “We have worked closely with First Milk over the last year and have adapted to its needs as it has become increasingly successful.

“We enjoy working with clients to identify and react to their ever-evolving requirements, whether storage or distribution services or specialist services, such as cheese cutting or ingredient sorting.”

Joint md Linda Grocott said: “We completed the last two storage chambers for First Milk last September. Half of that space is chilled and half is frozen.”

Grocontinental also aims to generate future business by promoting its added value services and developing its meat and ambient product handling.

The company’s facilities include blast freezing; rapid thawing of frozen product for sale as chilled; repacking and relabelling; ingredient sorting and screening; cheese cutting and de-boxing and raw material storage. It also installed a nitrogen tunnel in November 2009 for rapid product freezing.

Grocontinental grew out of a cattle trucking operation in the 1930s and now serves 80 customers, including Bakkavör, Premier Foods, Cargill and Vion. It claims to be the foremost cheese handler in the UK, storing 60,000t on site on any one day.

Related topics: Supply Chain, Dairy

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