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Palletline announces new Managing Director

Leading palletised distribution network Palletline has appointed network specialist Graham Leitch as the company’s new managing director.

With over thirty years’ experience in the logistics and transport industry, Graham joins Palletline from member company ARR Craib where he held the position of group distribution director. Graham brings extensive operational and commercial experience gained from directorships with a number of high profile companies including a National newspaper group and a large UK and European distribution network.

Graham says, “Palletline is a pioneering, quality driven distribution co-operative that thrives off creativity, exemplary customer service, efficiency and innovation so I am extremely pleased to be beginning the New Year here. With the network handling record numbers of pallets and a wealth of strategic initiatives underway, Palletline is a forward thinking company with huge long and short term opportunities that I genuinely believe in. I will look forward to working closely with the membership and management team to seize the opportunities and plan for future growth.”

Palletline is a member-owned cooperative network with more than six thousand vehicles, twelve thousand staff and access to over five million square feet of warehousing space.

Trevor Ellis, chairman at Palletline, says, “Graham will be a great asset to Palletline, his previous hard work and successes at ARR Craib are prime examples of how he will continue to lead us along the path of innovation to ensure Palletline stays ahead of the curve in all areas of our business from technology, efficiency and reducing road miles to member services and support.

“Palletline is greatly indebted to Craib’s for its involvement in the appointment of this accomplished individual, who shares the key corporate values of member companies, demonstrating the ‘Power of Partnership’.”

ARR Craib managing director Eddie Anderson says, “It became clear to all, including myself, that Graham was the best man for the job. As a shareholder member of Palletline, I was keen to ensure that Palletline benefits from the proactive first class leadership that we have enjoyed with Graham’s contribution at Craib’s, so I’d like to wish him and the network all the best with the move.”

Trevor says, “Palletline is the undisputed founder of pallet networks and its success has come from the shareholder members. Aligning business values with industry challenges has necessitated a number of management changes in the business. Graham is an inspirational, hands on leader and will be the ideal person to refocus on cooperation and collaboration within the Palletline network and we wish him every success in his new role.”

Loma highlights importance of X-ray inspection

Further underlining its position at the forefront of advanced metal detection, Loma Systems is highlighting the importance of high performance X-ray inspection for truly effective Critical Control Point detection to meet requirements of the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7, which came into effect on 1st July, and retailers’ Codes of Practice.

Tony Bryant, UK Sales Director at Loma Systems, says, “There are certain food applications where only X-ray inspection technology will give the required contaminant detection levels. Loma offers both metal detectors and X-ray units but with the latest BRC standard and retailers’ Codes of Practice recommending the increasing use of X-ray inspection in the food industry, the equipment we recommend relates to what manufacturers and processors might expect from an external retailer audit.”

As official partner of the BRC Global Standards organisation, Loma is also offering comprehensive advice and expertise to support the 22,000 BRC certificated food manufacturers and processors across 123 countries needing to review their inspection equipment in preparation for audits against issue 7.

Tony says, “Manufacturers of foil packaged ready meals, for example, must have a CCP inspection system positioned at the end of each production line. Using a ferrous-in-foil metal detector will provide limited protection as it is only able to identify ferrous metals to levels of between 2mm and 5mm. Most equipment used in a food plant is produced from stainless steel and some non-ferrous metals but these will not be detected when using a ferrous only detector. This leaves a worrying and potentially damaging gap in HACCP procedures.

“Using X-ray detection systems to inspect foil trays, as well as plastic containers if used on the same line, will significantly strengthen CCP, ensuring optimum quality control and food safety. An X-ray machine will typically find ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel contaminants at levels between 1mm and 2.5mm. No metal detector in the world could offer anything close to this and given that 98% of a food factory is stainless steel, an X-ray system is very important for due diligence.

“Metal detectors are still used by the majority of food processors across the world. However, there are benefits in choosing X-ray machinery such as more reliable and accurate detection of metals and foreign bodies such as bone, glass and other dense materials that can sometimes be an issue for food producers."

BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is a single, internationally recognised food safety management system and issue 7 includes a number of recommendations for further improvements to quality management programmes.

Loma recently responded to the growing demand for a more cost effective yet highly functional X-ray system with the launch of the revolutionary new X5c (Compact) model. Adhering to the company’s ‘Designed to Survive’ ethos whilst reducing the cost of ownership of X-ray inspection technology by an industry-beating 30%, this affordable new machine is aimed at food manufacturers running multi-product, retail ready lines keen to make the switch to X-ray technology for the first time.

As with all Loma’s products, customers benefit from a high level of before and after sales service and receive a tailor made solution to their inspection requirements.

Buoyant industry drives growth for Singapore

With Singapore’s food and beverage exports to the GCC continuing to grow, the country’s participation in Gulfood, currently taking place in Dubai, serves as a crucial factor in facilitating trade between Singapore and the GCC. 47 Singapore companies are showcasing their products at this year’s twentieth landmark edition of the world’s largest food and hospitality show.

International Enterprise Singapore, the government agency promoting the overseas growth of Singapore-based enterprises and international trade, believes that Gulfood, and the emirate of Dubai, provide the perfect platform for Singapore’s food manufacturers to launch their products and strengthen their foothold in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. In January, Dubai Customs enacted the GCC-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, which provides full exemption of Singapore’s customs duties for GCC imports and qualifies approximately 93.9% of all Singaporean goods exported to the GCC for tariff-free concessions.

Trade of food between UAE and Singapore amounted to US$183 million in 2014, split between US$18 million in food exports to Singapore and US$165 million in imports. In light of these recent favourable economic developments, the figures are expected to increase in the coming years.

Budiman Mohamed Salleh, Centre Director for IE Singapore, Abu Dhabi, says, “F&B exports to the GCC remain strong, growing at a compounded annual rate of 10 percent over the past five years and reaching US$291.9 million in 2014, up from US$200.4 million in 2010. With Gulfood as a key platform to explore regional opportunities, we expect a greater strengthening of ties between Singapore’s F&B companies and the GCC region.

“The mutual recognition of the Singapore MUIS Halal Standards is a vital step in opening doors for Singapore companies that are keen to grow their presence in this region. Singapore, Dubai, and the GCC in general, share a common bond – an ethnically diverse society and a deep love and passion for quality food. Being a cosmopolitan city, Singapore’s food producers are familiar with varied tastes and palates, including Western favourites and authentic Asian flavours. The participation of Singapore’s F&B brands at Gulfood presents an excellent opportunity to elevate the country’s food offering to the level of global cuisine in Dubai."

The Singapore Pavilion is organised by the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association, with the support of IE Singapore. The Pavilion is located in Sheikh Rashid Hall of the Dubai World Trade Centre.

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