Dean Attwell, Oakland International CEO and co-founder, was top of the world twice over as we went to press. First, the Redditch-based multi-temperature supply chain specialist won two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, for International Trade and Sustainable Development. Oakland has customers in 11 countries and facilities in the UK, Ireland and a partner in Spain, helping secure the Award for International Trade. The Sustainable Development award recognised their commitment to become their sector’s first carbon-neutral business and building strong communities through the Oakland Foundation and other local initiatives.

Oakland’s second triumph came as news broke about the Queen’s Awards, when Dean Attwell was physically on top of the world, having reached the North Pole after walking day and night in extreme conditions, fundraising for Cancer Research. Our hearty congratulations to Dean and the team on both successes!

Speaking of people on the move, John Armstrong, Florette UK & Ireland’s Marketing Director, used to appear regularly in our pages when he was building Rustlers into the brand it is today. Now he’s back in the news as Florette, the UK’s first branded bag salad, returns to TV.

As our ‘Grab & Go’ feature confirms, busy Brits represent a huge profit opportunity. Leading manufacturers like Florette, Kepak, Britvic and Danone are dedicated to helping retailers push ‘grab and go’ food and drink sales to the max as part of their total offer.

Also in this issue our Back of Store feature looks at warehousing and logistics solutions for the grocery supply chain.  Faced with high volumes of palletised stock to move around, the pressure is on multiple grocers to run their forklift and warehouse truck fleets efficiently and cleanly. Linde Material Handling’s lithium-ion maintenance-free batteries re-charge in just 90 minutes.

It’s been a busy time for results and reports. Nichols, the maker of Vimto, has just announced first quarter UK sales up 3.4 per cent on 2016, compared to market growth of 1.2 per cent. Britvic’s latest report confirms soft drinks sales have plenty of fizz left as shoppers seek lower sugar options. Britain’s number one biscuit maker pladis’s second annual biscuit review shows UK consumers staying loyal to this £2.4 billion category, with 99% of households tucking in an average three times a week.

And finally, in our Quote Unquote section, we feature Edmund Chartier, Ecommerce Manager at Palmer and Harvey, whose distribution relationship with Tesco has just been renewed. Edmund says he would recommend a career in this industry and would advise people to be open-minded. We’ll drink to that!

Written by Charles Smith, Editor, The Grocery Trader

This commentary first appeared in the May 2017 edition of The Grocery Trader.

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