|Fresh Solutions for Swithenbank Customers in the South
Swithenbank Foods, the specialist fresh and chilled division of 3663 First for Foodservice, the UK’s leading foodservice wholesale distributor, is opening a depot just outside London. It will be the first time the company has had a site dedicated to supply fresh produce to central London and anywhere within the M25.
All produce was previously taken to Swithenbank’s flagship site in Bradford, before being delivered to customers anywhere in the country. The new site, based in Enfield was previously a 3663 frozen, fresh and chilled depot. Now the company will also have a 20,000sq ft facility in the south capable of receiving produce directly from growers and dedicated to the distribution of fresh produce in and around the M25.
Andrew Watson, Director of Swithenbank Foods explains: “A London based depot will enable us to save the company an estimated 500,000 food miles a year, which is a significant environmental saving. Our customers include major hotel chains, private healthcare establishments and staff restaurants, situated the length and breadth of the country. By having depots in both the Midlands and the South we will be able to deliver even fresher produce even quicker than before.”
“Being part of the 3663 business we have always been able to guarantee delivery day one for day two anywhere in the UK. The new facility in Enfield will enable us to provide daily deliveries. Today’s chefs, from top hotels to schools and colleges are so in tune with healthy eating that they want their produce to be as fresh as possible. For locally grown produce, say in Kent, we will be looking to make products picked by 6pm available on the plate by 6am the next day. You can’t get fresher than that!”
Swithenbank Foods has carried out extensive renovation work at Enfield including a new £130,000 temperature controlled refrigeration plant. The new chilled marshalling area allows temperatures to be maintained whilst products are unloaded and placed in the new chiller, thereby providing a constant chilled environment.
One new development of the Swithenbanks initiative will feature a ripening room, believed to be the first in the wholesale market. Customers such as hoteliers offering conference and banqueting often require fruit which is ready to eat and consistently available. The ripening room uses controlled temperatures and Ethylene, a gas produced naturally from fruit and known to accelerate its ripening process. This new resource will enable Swithenbank to offer customers a choice of ripe fruit as and when needed.
To provide the highest level of customer service, a produce buyer is also based in Enfield, within easy access of the fresh produce markets and available to work directly with caterers, helping with their specific requirements and guaranteeing product quality.
During the renovation of the 3663 depot, staff spent six weeks at the Bradford site undergoing training to help them identify and work with the 1500 different product lines that will be available at the new site.
Swithenbank Foods provide quality fresh produce, chilled provisions, speciality fine foods and fresh fish to customers in the UK foodservice market. With an enhanced logistics network through 3663, customers can be assured of a professional service wherever they are in the country.