Swithenbank Foods, the specialist fresh and chilled division of 3663, has opened 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 the M25 area.
All produce was previously taken to Swithenbank’s 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, explained: “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.”
He said the new depot would cut around 30 hours from the cold chain. “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.”
Swithenbank Foods has carried out extensive renovation work at Enfield including a new pound;130,000 temperature controlled refrigeration plant. The new chilled marshalling area allows temperatures to be maintained while products are unloaded and placed in the new chiller, thereby providing a constant chilled environment.