Produce notes: UK manufacturer GIC claims largest-ever single order
Photo courtesy of GIC

Produce notes: UK manufacturer GIC claims largest-ever single order

Produce Business reports

Natures Way Foods has given the green light to Gainsborough, Lincolnshire-based GIC to supply the company with 16 additional Salad Specification Machines, making it the largest ever one-time order for the firm.

The GIC4100s are vertical form fill and machines that use unique Leaf Salad Assisted Drop functionality, which speeds up packing and reduces the chance of salad leaves being captured in the seal leading to contamination and downtime. In addition, they also help in the sustainability effort by reducing a company’s film use.

“We are delighted to have received our largest ever order,” says Andy Beal, GIC’s managing director. “Everyone at GIC works incredibly hard to make the best machines we can. When Natures Way Foods placed its first order with us back in 2009 we never thought we would go on to supply them 29 machines. Natures Way Foods is an incredible story, and we are extremely proud to know that we are playing a small part in their success.”

The order adds onto the 13 that Natures Way,  a leading manufacturer of fresh, convenient food and supplies retailers and foodservice companies with prepared salads, coleslaw and potato salad, and fresh food to go salad meals, had previously ordered. Natures Way Foods has grown rapidly since 1994 and today employs more than 1,200 across four manufacturing units capable of producing over 238 million units and handling over 110,000 tonnes of finished product. 

“We have a very good relationship with GIC, and their machines are first class,” said Nathan Bennett, Project Manager for Natures Way Foods. “They cut down on re-work of product, run faster than our previous machines and require very little maintenance, so there is minimal downtime, which is crucial to our operation. Our business is growing quickly, and we need to add additional lines to keep up with demand and forecasted increases.”

According to GIC, its 4100 with LSAD, is capable of packing up to 60 packs per minute and accept all suitable heat sealable materials including laminates and polyethylene.  GIC’s machines integrate seamlessly with upstream equipment such as check-weighers, multi-head weighers, cup fillers and counters.

Dart Fresh announces Food Box gifts: The Pritchard family at Exeter-based has launched a Food Box gifting scheme to support the neediest families during the pandemic. Customer can now “pay forward” Dart Essential Fresh Produce Boxes that can be delivered  for free.

The Family Support Essential Box (£29), contains minced beef, sausages, chicken breasts, diced beef, bacon, eggs, bread, baked beans, local cheese.

There are two separate boxes available, one with mainly meats and cheeses and the other chock full of produce that is £25. It contains potatoes, swedes, onions, kale, jacket potatoes, carrots, savoy cabbage, greens, mushrooms, pepper, broccoli, parsnips, apples, satsumas, bananas, pears, plums, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot.

Dart Fresh says that while many vulnerable customers are affected adversely by supermarket trips, its supply chain is unaffected can perform quick turnaround times.

“Since we launched our purpose-built website to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen an unprecedented number of customers requesting free home delivery due to being in isolation,” said Director John Pritchard. “We have decided to introduce this gifting scheme to help the elderly and vulnerable families in isolation, as well as those who are struggling to make ends meet or secure an online food delivery in this desperate situation. We have been overwhelmed with offers of support received so far and thank all of those who have donated vital supplies to those who need them most.”

Groesn names Group CEO: Groesn ltd. has hired Matthew Jarrett to be chief executive officer of its group, which is a supplier to many of the UK’s largest major retailers and growers. 

Last year, Greosn supplied 32,000 worker placements along with 200 million plants to its 300 customers. It also acquired Penzance-based Varfell Farms, the worlds’ largest grower and supplier of daffodils, which supplies some 500 million hand-picked British stems during the short season each year.

Jarret, the founder of Pro-Force, has been instrumental in steering the group during the COVID-19 pandemic and the UK transition period.

“We have faced both Brexit and the pandemic in the same year” he said. “We have proven that we are an agile and responsive business.”

South African expects good 2021: After a challenging 2020, the South Africa’s raisin industry says it is starting to see good growth in exports to the UK .Thompson was the most exported variety last year, followed by the Golden Sultana and Flame raisin.
The UK continues to be the second biggest importer of South African raisins after Germany. 2021 will see a focus on public health and healthy snacking at the forefront of Raisins South Africa’s consumer-focussed campaign, whilst also aiming to promote their industry’s point of difference tothe UK market.



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