2017 is proving to be a golden year for multi-temperature supply chain specialist Oakland International. In April they won two Queen’s Awards and CEO Dean Attwell took time out from the business to walk to the North Pole, raising funds for Cancer Research.

Now Oakland International and symbol group operator SPAR UK have been confirmed as finalists in The Grocer Gold Awards 2017 at London’s Guildhall later this month. Shortlisted in the Logistics Supplier of the Year category, Oakland and SPAR were chosen due to their bespoke sustainable carbon reducing case and pallet consolidation scheme, which delivers key benefits for retailers, suppliers and in-store customers. In a further accolade, Oakland International Finance Director, Jeremy Hoare, was also shortlisted in last month’s FDs’ Excellence Awards.

A bowl of our favourite cereal washed down with cold milk still constitutes breakfast for millions of us, but the ongoing concern about healthy eating sweeping the UK is affecting this part of our eating habits too, as our Breakfast feature in this issue confirms. US-owned Post Holdings made the breakfast news in every sense in April when they bought Weetabix, the British cereal with a royal warrant. But the fastest climber in the Great British breakfast race is bagels, according to New York Bakery.

Personal care products are a key part of every supermarket’s offering. From the biggest superstore to the smallest convenience format outlet, these products sit in the grocery non-food section of every supermarket and play a vital role as traffic builders in bringing in shoppers. In our Personal Care feature we talk to John Drake, Head of Convenience at P&G about their vision for this crucial category.

And finally, the headlines are pretty bleak right now and everyone’s uncertain about the election, but two current industry initiatives show there’s still plenty of love left in the grocery world. First of all, Pladis has signed an employer pledge with Time To Change, to commit to change the way we think and act about mental health in the workplace. The company has mental health and well being ambassadors at all its UK sites, backed by a 24/7 support line and counselling for employees and their families. And since mid May, Palmer & Harvey has partnered with UK charity Missing People, extending the reach of the charity’s efforts to find missing children and adults by displaying appeals on the sides of their vans that make daily deliveries to shops in every UK mainland postcode.

We wish every success to both initiatives and the companies behind them. If your company has made a social commitment like this, please let us know and we’ll report it.

Written by Charles Smith, Editor, The Grocery Trader

Published in the June 2017 edition of The Grocery Trader

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