Clugston drives to the Houses of Parliament

David Heath, head of logistics at Clugston Distribution, was recently asked to give a short presentation on the company’s involvement in the life saving Driver First Assist initiative, at a select Parliamentary reception at the House of Commons.

Organised by the DFA, David discussed the importance of enhancing driver skills and the value in educating drivers on how to react correctly and with immediacy at road traffic accidents. He also went on to talk about the enthusiasm Clugston Distribution staff has shown in learning about the initiative – so far 31 employees have already taken part in the training scheme.

A not-for-profit organisation, DFA was set up to train professional drivers in the basic life saving tools needed during a road traffic accident. The scheme gives drivers the essential skills required to accurately assess the scene of a road traffic accident and to alert the emergency services correctly ahead of their arrival.

It's estimated that up to 46% of road traffic fatalities could be prevented if the right first aid assistance was available in those first moments.

At the reception Rob Flello, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Freight Transport, addressed the thirty guests, which consisted of operators, manufacturers, politicians, media and VIPs.

Robert Carr, a Clugston Distribution employee and driver trainer who took part in the DFA training, says, “I feel I have a better understanding of how to manage the scene of an accident and I am more confident that I could give good advice to the emergency services on how many vehicles as well as casualties may have been involved.”

Amber Beverage Group to distribute Beam Suntory beverages in Baltic countries

Amber Beverage Group, the leading wine and spirits company in the Baltic countries and part of SPI Group, is expanding its partnership with Beam Suntory, the world’s third largest premium spirits company.

Tthe Amber Beverage Group will distribute the portfolio of Beam Suntory in the Baltic countries, including brands such as Teacher’s, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Sauza tequila, Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons. Amber Beverage Group will represent full portfolio of Beam Suntory brands in Estonia and Latvia, and cognac and tequila brands in Lithuania.

Seymour Ferreira, CEO of Amber Beverage Group, says, “Becoming ambassadors for and partners with one of the world’s leading spirits producers is a great honour and responsibility at the same time. Our partnership with Beam Suntory via our distributor companies in Latvia and Lithuania has already been active for several years and we are delighted to expand it, across all the Baltic States.

“By expanding this cooperation with Beam Suntory, we have taken a major step towards our development strategy in the Baltic region, adding powerful global brands to our range of international partners, which already includes William Grant, Concha y Toro and KWV."

The partnership with Beam Suntory will allow Amber Beverage Group, already known as the producer of the world-famous Stolichnaya Premium vodka and Moskovskaya in Riga, to strengthen its leading position in the whiskey, cognac and tequila segments in the Baltic markets. Torsten Helbig, VP EMEA Emerging Markets of Beam Suntory, says, “We are looking forward to a mutual long-term cooperation with SPI Group to bring our business to the new level in Baltics. Strong cooperation will lead to growth for both companies."

Seafish seeks analysis of Landing Obligation impact

Seafish, the industry authority on seafood, is commissioning a project to analyse the impact of the Landing Obligation on the UK supply chain.

The analysis will cover all species landed domestically into the UK that will be subject to the phased implementation of the landing obligation. The project will also look at all sectors within the UK supply chain including vessels, ports and auctions, processors, transporters, wholesalers, retail and foodservice, as well as sectors dealing with products for non-human consumption such as fishmeal and bait.

Analysis of sectors dealing with product designed for both human and non-human consumption is necessary to understand operational, legal and financial impacts. For the purposes of this project, the UK supply chain is deemed to comprise activities from vessel to retail market and food service.

Marcus Jacklin, Project Manager for Seafish, says, “The implementation of the Landing Obligation will likely have a far-reaching impact on the entire supply chain; from vessel to wholesalers. Understanding the impact of the landing obligation is vital to supporting the entire UK supply chain while it is being implemented. While there has been a lot of work with the offshore sector in this area, we are looking to develop our understanding of the effect of the Landing Obligation for the whole supply chain including the onshore sectors.”

Seafish is looking for applicants to undertake this project, ideally with relevant experience and a track record of delivering projects to a high standard. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 13th March with project to be completed by 31st August. Full details of the tender can be found on the Seafish website.

Tetra Pak obtains worldwide FSC Chain of Custody certification

Tetra Pak can now supply Forest Stewardship Council labelled packages from anywhere in the world, having received FSC Chain of Custody certification for all of its converting plants and market companies. It represents one of FSC’s largest multi-site certifications, covering a total of 92 facilities worldwide.

FSC is an international, non-governmental organisation that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. Its CoC certification allows wood fibres to be traced at every step through the supply chain, providing assurance that any products bearing the FSC logo support forest management that adopts environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management practices.

Mario Abreu, Vice President Environment at Tetra Pak, says, “Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of the products they buy, expecting businesses to help them make better choices. The FSC logo is an easily recognisable hallmark for forest management, and our customers now have an opportunity to demonstrate their support for responsible forestry anywhere in the world.

"As a major user of paperboard, we feel it’s our responsibility to do what we can to help improve the management of the world's forests, which is why we are working to ensure 100% of the paperboard we use is certified."

Tetra Pak introduced the FSC certification system to the liquid food carton industry launching the world’s first FSC labelled carton in 2007. Since then, Tetra Pak has delivered more than 130 billion packages to customers carrying the FSC logo, with 43.7 billion in 2014 alone.

New President for FSDF

The Food and Storage Distribution Federation have a new President. The recent Board of Directors meeting saw the transfer of Presidency and Chain of Office from Garry Tilburn to Malcolm Johnstone, Managing Director of Associated Cold Storage and Transport.

The event also marked Garry’s retirement from senior cold storage and distribution management, with over 40 years experience in the food industry, and his second Presidential two year period of office. The FSDF Board and Management team wish him well, and presented him with a gift to mark the occasion and to thank him for his leadership of the Federation.

Malcolm Johnstone, who has lead ACS&T since 2007, will serve for the next two years.

Bibby Distribution wins full food logistics contract for Netto UK

Bibby Distribution is to provide full logistics services for Netto UK, the discounter which returned to the UK last year as a joint venture between Sainsbury’s and Netto’s parent company, Dansk Supermarked.

Under the contract, Bibby Distribution will provide frozen, chilled and ambient food logistics for Netto UK, which opened five stores in the North of England last year and plans to open another ten by the end of 2015.

Netto has selected Bibby Distribution to act as its 3PL provider thanks to Bibby Distribution’s unique combination of capacity and flexibility. The contract is Bibby Distribution’s first ever diversification into chilled and frozen food logistics.

Bibby will manage stock from a central multi-retailer regional distribution centre in Scunthorpe. Bibby provides a dedicated fleet of multi-temperature reefer trailers with tail-lifts and can leverage its capacity to provide Netto with maximum efficiency, providing deliveries on multi-vendor, multi-SKU trucks. The discounter uses display pallets in-store which Bibby Distribution staff prepare at the RDC so they can be brought out to the shop floor immediately after delivery.

Duncan Eyre, Development Director, Bibby Distribution, says, “Our mission is to provide the most efficient possible supply chain solution. That means working closely with Netto to essentially become an integral part of their business. It’s a very different relationship to what might be expected between a 3PL and a retailer and we’re delighted to be able to offer the agility, flexibility and transparency that Netto requires to ensure customers get the very best value.”

As Netto opens more stores Bibby Distribution will grow warehousing space and fleet allocation. This level of service means Netto can expand its logistics as new stores open, rather than having to invest upfront. Bibby Distribution will also be diffusing costs across its business rather than having departments such as HR dedicated to Netto, which allows for high levels of service and growth.

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.

Efficient EMCS processing at Premium Warehousing with AEB solutions

Premium Warehousing has implemented AEB’s software solution EMCS||XPRESS, resulting in faster processing of excise goods under duty suspension, increased efficiencies and cost reductions.

Premium Warehousing, a British warehousing and logistics service provider, has implemented EMCS||XPRESS, the convenient online solution as part of ASSIST4 Customs Management, from AEB’s comprehensive software suite ASSIST4 for all logistics processes in global business. Premium Warehousing now benefits from faster processing of excise goods under duty suspension, increased operational efficiency and lower costs.

EMCS||XPRESS, developed by AEB, one of Europe’s leading providers of global trade and supply chain management solutions, is a SaaS application, which is hosted in AEB’s official ISO 27001 certified computer centre. It supports the secure and efficient transmission and processing of electronic customs messaging in compliance with applicable EU law. EMCS||XPRESS went live at Premium Warehousing in April 2014 and has since been used by its shipping and administration teams on a daily basis.

Premium Warehousing is an expert in the field of cargo handling for all types of materials, and with special focus on foodstuffs, the company also operates an approved HMRC bonded warehouse and is licensed to store beers, wines and spirits. One of its clients, a major European transport, logistics and freight forwarding company, stores up to 23,000 pallets of Carlsberg UK products at Premium Warehousing’s facility near Northampton. On average, about 75% of all wine, beer and spirit deliveries managed by Premium Warehousing are subject to EMCS, the Excise Movement and Control System.

When, at the beginning of 2014, Carlsberg UK’s HMRC related transaction requirements increased by approximately 300%, managing operations and customs declarations at the same time resulted in delays and frustrations. Processing these increased volumes also led to workload backlogs in a number of other warehouse areas, neglecting tasks such as stock counts and various system updates.

To standardise and accelerate the EMCS handling and to enable the efficient processing of increased numbers of shipments without additional staff, Premium Warehousing opted for AEB‘s automated solution EMCS||XPRESS. All EMCS submissions based on latest increased data volumes are now managed by one person, and the overall processing time has been reduced from about 10 minutes to about ten seconds per declaration. In addition, Premium Warehousing now has full transparency over all duty suspended excise goods movements, which supports the operational side, but also enhances customer service and ensures customs compliance.

Chris Lee, Managing Director of Premium Warehousing, says, “In our business, especially dealing with perishable cargo, smooth operations and regulatory compliance are crucial to deliver first class customer service, keep a competitive edge and grow the business at the same time. If we had not implemented EMCS||XPRESS, we would not have been able to handle the major volume increases without hiring additional staff or negative impacts on service levels."

Supporting Scottish dairy sector‬

Farming Ministers from around Europe have discussed the impact of falling milk prices on the dairy industry, and following the meeting in Brussels, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead stressed the importance of helping Scottish farmers take advantage of export opportunities. He also highlighted the importance of the EU continuing to closely monitor the impact of the fall in milk prices on farmers - particularly in remote and island communities.

Richard Lochhead says, ‪"Scottish dairy products are among some of the very best quality in the world and the Scottish Dairy Growth Board that we have set up, chaired by Paul Grant, is helping the industry capitalise on the global demand for premium products. I know the recent fall in milk prices is causing a lot of worry for dairy farmers and it was notable how many countries raised concerns and I was pleased that the EU undertook to closely monitor the impact of the ban.

"I was pleased that we managed to get the fragility of Scottish dairy farms in rural and island communities mentioned - as this just isn't an issue for most of Europe. I will continue to push for them to stand ready to take further action if necessary.

‪"We will also continue to do what we can in Scotland, where it is crucial that more is done to ensure Scottish dairy products are widely stocked and promoted to make it easy for consumers to buy local options."

New Technology Centre brings superior testing to Spiroflow

Spiroflow, manufacturer of conveying and weighing systems for companies across the world, has celebrated the latest stage of its expansion strategy with a launch event to mark the opening of its new state of the art Technology Centre.

The Centre, which was officially opened by Cllr Michael Ranson, Mayor of Ribble Valley, houses a spacious machine demonstration area for the company’s conveying, weighing, bulk bag filling and discharge equipment, plus a unique powder characterisation and testing laboratory. The primary purpose of the Centre – as well as showcasing Spiroflow’s market-leading machinery – is to facilitate powder characterisation testing on sophisticated laboratory equipment, providing a fundamental insight into powder flow properties and helping to anticipate and thus prevent handling issues.

The launch event was attended by customers, partners, local companies and trade associations, who were treated to tours of the Centre and an insight into Spiroflow’s history, its reputation for innovation and technical excellence and its expectations regarding the new facility. The Centre will provide major benefits to customers, not least the opportunity to conduct full scale system trials and significantly reduce the risk of expensive downtime in the handling process.

The Technology Centre will operate under the watchful eyes of Dr Will Weston, Spiroflow’s specialist in materials science, and engineer Terry Mason. Together they provide a wealth of experience in solving materials handling challenges across a breadth of industries, processes and scales.

Dr Weston says, “Powders and granular materials are complex entities with vastly varied handling properties, so conveying solids is a much more complex task than it is for liquids. Testing in the material characterisation lab will allow us to fully understand each material in order to design the most efficient bespoke handling solution. The lab will also be invaluable for customers’ development projects to test the feasibility of introducing a new product into their process – particularly vital if a prospective additive has the potential to be cohesive, or has a high moisture or fat content that could affect the flow of the powder in conveying pipework, weigh vessels or valves. Preventive testing can ultimately save thousands in processing downtime.”

The new Centre will also free up urgently needed space at the company’s existing site on the same industrial park, facilitating an increase in machine production to meet growing demand from international customers which currently account for around 50% of total sales. The expansion is also expected to result in the creation of a number of new jobs. This latest announcement comes hot on the heels of further expansion of the company’s USA operation through a new factory in North Carolina serving the North and South American and Far East markets.

Spiroflow’s Chairman Michel Podevyn says, “Spiroflow already has a well-deserved reputation for technical excellence and commitment to customer satisfaction, supported by our rigorous testing programme that weeds out potential handling problems at a very early stage. Demand for our conveying and discharging systems is continually increasing in both domestic and global markets and we’re delighted about the combination of experience, scientific expertise and testing facilities that makes our new Technology Centre unique in the sector and enables us to meet this growing demand with renewed vigour and confidence.”

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