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Culina has Pimpernel cheese contract

Market Drayton, UK: Culina has gained a chilled distribution contract with Pimpernel Wharf to deliver specialist cheese products to supermarket group Morrisons.

Over 20 different cheeses chosen by Morrisons and sourced by Pimpernel Wharf from various suppliers across Europe will be shipped through Culina’s warehouse in Haverhill to the supermarket’s national distribution centres. The contract started in June and became fully operational in September.

Culina’s shared user model distributes cheeses from Pimpernel to Morrisons

“We are very confident in the operation and it’s been running like clockwork from the start,” says Mark Greenaway, key account manager at Pimpernel Wharf. “We needed to achieve very high service levels for this contract and identified Culina as a specialist chilled logistics company that could help us meet these objectives.”

Pimpernel Wharf works with European cheese producers to market against mainstream brands. These products are shipped direct from the producers into the supply chain to reach supermarkets and other outlets. This model removes the need for the business to operate its own warehouses.

The company started discussions with Morrisons during 2011 to develop a new concept covering specialist cheeses.  Pimpernel wanted to pass distribution to a chilled logistics specialist to meet the order schedules agreed with the supermarket.

Pimpernel Wharf works with third party distributors but few could meet its objectives for the Morrisons contract. “We liked what we saw in the way the warehouse operated and how Culina compared with the other companies we approached who could not provide the level of service required and apply the attention to detail that we need to maintain our unique position in the market.” Greenaway says.

Also attractive was Culina’s existing relationship with Morrisons that provided a good understanding of how the supermarket operated and insight into its specific requirements from suppliers, he says.

Product is delivered direct from Pimpernel Wharf’s producers to Culina’s depot in Haverhill, close to east coast ports. Stock is ordered weekly from suppliers in Italy, Germany, France and the Czech Republic  shipped in a consolidated container load to Haverhill from where orders are distributed to the supermarket’s distribution centres.

When fully operational the contract will cover over 20 cheese products and more than 10,000 cases week. Pimpernel Wharf expects this number to grow as the contract evolves during the remainder of year.

“To manage the contract Culina employs its shared user model. This is extremely useful for specialist producers such as Pimpernel Wharf because it provides access to national distribution networks and extremely high service levels without any restrictions on the volumes being shipped while supporting flexibility, adaptability and scalability to meet ever changing requirements,” Culina says.

“In this type of operation storage and distribution infrastructure and services are shared between users throughout the Culina network. Any Culina vehicle on the road will be carrying products for multiple customers while individual pallets might also contain products from different suppliers but with a common, shared destination.

“In this way Culina optimises not only the resources utilised in each depot throughout the network but ensures each vehicle is filled as fully as possible for effective, economical and sustainable transportation. Supply chain efficiencies and economies of scale allow Culina to provide efficient and cost effective solutions to customers of all sizes which can be scaled up and down to meet seasonal peaks and the demands of promotions,” it says.