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Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s latest quarterly Back of Store feature. After the summer’s final arrival, we could now be seeing solid evidence of Britain’s economic recovery.

chazFirst, the CBI survey pointed to a solid year-on-year rise in grocers’ sales volumes and non-store sales up sharply year-on-year, reflecting on-line shopping’s continued growth. And the latest ONS figures show the UK economy grew 0.6% in the three months to June, and GDP up 1.4% compared with the same quarter in 2012. The latest growth estimates suggest the economy has now recouped nearly half its 7.2% contraction during the 2008/09 recession.

On this basis, Chancellor George Osborne says the British economy is on the mend. He recently visited Chippenham-based electronic controls manufacturer Danlers, ss reported in our news pages. In our Back of Store feature Danlers are helping grocery warehouses and other industrial premises make significant energy savings with their new IP66 rated Batten Mount passive infra-red occupancy switch.

Also in this feature, the green credentials of Asda’s new chilled and frozen distribution centre in Rochdale have been bolstered by an environmentally conscious cooling system from Star Refrigeration. Star worked with Asda to design an energy-efficient refrigeration plant for the new facility, a new style of building for Asda in the UK, with a single skin construction demanding a specific cooling system.

With warehouse efficiency top priority, Linde and Crown are both offering lift truck innovations. Linde’s new generation of reach trucks is more comfortable, more powerful and safer to operate. Following a successful launch last August, Crown’s new ES/ET 4000 Series is expanding again. With the new ESi 4000 pedestrian stacker and ETi 4000 rider stacker, the range is now capable of meeting all stacking challenges, whether racking, retrieving and transporting open or enclosed pallets, working on rough surfaces, loading and unloading lorries over docks and ramps or double stacking, indoors or out.

There’s always room for improvements in transit packaging, to help improve logistical efficiency. FHG IPP Logipal, the UK and Ireland’s second largest pooling supplier and leading high quality pallet pooling specialist, has launched a range of reusable box solutions comprising the FHG Bulk Box, FHG High Protection Box plus handling and packaging accessories.

And as use of automation grows in food processors and grocery supply chains, Roy Fowler Berkshire-based UPM Conveyors has seen a record final quarter following the Total Show, where enquiries for product handling systems and orders on the stand surpassed all expectations.

It’s good news all round.

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