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    The weather was kind to us on Friday 21st June 2019 for our annual golf day held at The Luffenham Heath Golf Club. With the weather being more autumnal over the last few weeks, there was definitely some worry in the run-up that we may have to postpone. Luck was on our side however and the sun did appear.

    A total of nine teams took part, made up of some of our valued clients from the Food Manufacturing, Fresh Produce and Horticulture sectors. The golf was mixed at best, with some fantastic scores and some awful ones, but mainly great fun was had by all.

    Recruitment Director, Jason Kilbride said:

    “The annual golf day is always a day in the calendar which we look forward to. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with clients who have supported us and continue to work with us throughout the years. Luffenham Heath is a beautiful setting and a challenging day.”

    We would like to say a huge thank you to all that attended and in doing so, helped to raise some money for our charity. Special thanks to our Office Manager, Natalie Pask who put in so much effort organising the day, which ran very smoothly.

    See you again next year!


    1st Prize – Gareth Silverwood – Munoz – 40 points

    2nd Prize – Julian Wright – Ripenow – 34 points

    3rd Prize – Mike Harpham – Consultant – 34 points

    Ladies Prize – Rachel Gedney – TH Clements

    Nearest The Pin – Mike Harpham – Consultant

    Longest Drive – Louis Meryon – Addo

    Team Prize – Gareth Silverwood – Munoz

    Richard Dyde – Vitaal

    Ian Ball – Total Produce

    Mark Player – Munoz

    Wooden Spoon – Leigh Jones – Total Produce Food Service

    Bandit – Gareth Silverwood (40 points off 28 Handicap!!)

    Henderson Brown Golf Day 2019

    Cutting costs and improving overall efficiencies are some of the biggest priorities for the Operations and Supply Chain professionals we at Henderson Brown work with. New technological advances have transformed the way that food manufacturing businesses operate either reducing costs or simply increasing information flow.

    2019 is set to present several interesting trends which Henderson Brown feels are significant and of real interest; Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and cloud-based software systems are transforming the way that businesses interact with one another. FuturMaster, the systems provider which works with the likes of Heineken and PepsiCo have highlighted the value in this. In an interview with the website, Food Manufacture, earlier in March 2019, FuturMaster sales manager Martin Sewell said

    “More data is becoming accessible and senior management are beginning to see the value of it much more than they have done.”

    Sewell explained that software firms which focus on supply chain are now having to adjust themselves in line with this. It is important that companies which produce food and drink are proficient in the ability to capture all the additional data they are generating. Moving on from that, they need to be able to analyse it appropriately so that they can redeem the efficiencies they are searching for.

    The supply chain for the food and beverage manufacturing sector is highly complex. The ability to drill down into the consumer demand data and how this affects a business (and their competition) is of huge competitive importance. Understanding this data and the clear insight that it gives will lead to making well thought out predictions and should direct a firm to provide an almost seamless delivery service across multiple sales channels. Even online sales channels which can be difficult to predict are becoming easier due to the availability of data instantly.

    The market is now seeing more reliance and requirement for cloud-based supply chain software which is then being used in conjunction with A.I. As more and more data is gathered then stored, A.I. works to analyse the trends and aid with more efficient planning – A.I. performs the tasks more quickly and efficiently than a human brain too, thus cutting manpower costs and the removal of potential human error. The result should enable for forecasts to be made more precisely. Furthermore, the possibilities of supermarket shelves becoming out-stocked or overstocked would be reduced with the subsequent reduction in stock wastage.

    Improvements to overall supply-chain efficacy and finances all round!

    At Henderson Brown, we have listened to how our clients are changing and about how the methods they have implemented to achieve these changes have impacted their business. For example using GPS tracking connected to smart sensors, which results in the improved accuracy of the product’s location in the supply chain.  Companies can acquire assurances about the condition of goods and gauge what quantities are or are not needed and where. Every product can pretty much be tracked to the person who packed it, the source and the consumer who bought it.

    Of the various roles we have been asked to recruit for, the competencies of future employees now extend to understanding and appreciating the importance of data and how it is used. Being data savvy with an analytical mind is a key requirement.

    The need to produce quality products on time, in full and at the lowest cost possible whilst also minimizing the amount of waste made increases continually as margins come under more pressure. There is, therefore, a constant demand for employees to continuously improve and drive out costs. Going further, these employees need to ensure that the supply chain runs as smoothly as possible so that a business matches the demands of their customer.

    Will Malcolm and Joe Hill both work in the Operations and Production division at Henderson Brown and of these job requirements they say:

    “We are speaking with many more candidates that are excited at the way they are having to integrate new systems into their roles. They see the benefits and the opportunities on offer to themselves and the businesses they want to work for. On top of this, our clients want to employ people that appreciate how the various advances now present a greater understanding of the consumer’s needs and relish the opportunity to expand their technological know-how.”


    What other technological advances do you see as being of influence in 2019?

    Check out the latest live Operations and Production roles, here.

    DATA AWARENESS – how storing business data in the cloud then analysing it with AI is adapting and enhancing business.

    Henderson Brown Golf Day 2018

    Another fantastic event held at Luffenham Heath Golf Club, supporting our charity of the year The Green Backyard. Well attended with figures from across the Food Manufacturing, Fresh Produce and Horticulture sectors, the weather was glorious and although the golf was challenging, all had a thoroughly enjoyable day. Thank you to all of our attendees for their continued support.

    Our winner was Steve Rudge; after plenty of practice in the UAE over the last year he held of competition from last years winner Jason Smith. Both definitely marked for a handicap cut next time around! We look forward to seeing you all again next year.

    Overall Winner: Steve Rudge

    Runner Up: Jason Smith

    3rd Place: Andy Coaten

    Nearest The Pin: Steve Maxwell

    Longest Drive: Peter Ellis

    Winning Team: Steve Rudge and Peter Fry



    Henderson Brown Golf Day 2018

    French importer expands presence in Central and Eastern Europe with new facility close to Hungarian capital

    French tropical fruit importer Compagnie Fruitière has opened a new Hungarian subsidiary to expand its presence in Central and Eastern Europe.

    Compagnie Fruitière Hungary will now market all products in the region, previously distributed through local partners.

    The company will now use its own ripening facility to develop its distribution network, located on near major roads and on an industrial estate close to Budapest.

    It is equipped with the latest ripening technology, with 12 two-tier ripening rooms, each holding 24 pallets and with a ripening capacity of 20,000 boxes a week. The facility is IFS-certified (International Food Standard).

    Compagnie Fruitière opens Hungarian subsidiary

    Neil Sanderson is leaving the food industry and will be replaced by Floreale Operations Director, Doug Robertson

    Florette UK and Ireland managing director Neil Sanderson is leaving the business to pursue a career outside of the food industry and will be replaced by Floreale operations director Doug Robertson.

    Sanderson, who has been with Florette for five years, will take up the role of director of the York Minster Fund – a body established in the late 1960s in order to raise money for the great work of restoration when the Central Tower was in danger of collapse.

    Robertson has worked across the European fresh produce industry with roles at Asda, Geest and Bakkavor, in operations, procurement and general management.

    He joined the vegetable division of Florette parent company Agrial to become general manager of Florette Murcia, following the acquisition of the French and Spanish businesses of Bakkavor. For the last three years he has been operations director for the division.

    His replacement will be named in the next few weeks.

    “The company wish to thank Neil for his contribution to the company over the last five years,” a statement from Florette said.

    “We are also delighted to announce that Doug Robertson will be moving from his role in the Floreale central team as operations director to replace Neil in the role of MD Florette UK and Ireland.”

    Sanderson is due to stay with the business during the transition period to help complete a series of projects.

    Florette MD steps down after five years

    Retailer reports ‘strong’ Christmas trading although saw sales fall by 1.5% during the third quarter

    Tesco saw like-for-like sales rise by 1.3% during the key six-week Christmas trading period thanks to low prices and a strong “seasonal offering”.

    In contrast, like-for-like sales fell by 1.5% during the retailer’s Q3 (13 weeks to 28 November), which the retailer said was down to not repeating ‘£5 off £40’ national coupon campaigns from the previous year.

    Chief executive Dave Lewis said more staff on shop floors boosted sales over Christmas, which also saw volumes rise by 3.5% and transactions increase by 3.4%. He hailed the Christmas results as a “significant improvement” on recent years.

    “Our Christmas performance was strong, benefiting from lower prices on an outstanding range of products,” Lewis said. “Our customer service improved materially and our colleagues went the extra mile. 

    “Through our ongoing investment in lower, more stable prices, we were around five per cent cheaper than last year on the lines that mattered most to our customers at Christmas.”

    Lewis said strong Christmas performance was evident across all formats and categories, including positive like-for-like sales growth in Tesco Extra.

    International sales have continued to grow, he continued, including positive sales momentum in Europe and Asia, and the Thai business reaching its highest-ever market share.

    “There is plenty more to do, but we are making good progress and are trading in line with profit expectations for the full year,” he added.

    Tesco like-for-like Xmas sales rise by 1.3%

    Retailer’s announcement relaunches price war into 2016 while CEO Andy Clarke says ‘radical and logical action’ is needed

    Asda has invested £500 million in further price cuts in the first major move this year for price war between the top four retailers and discounters.

    Chief executive Andy Clarke said the business must take “radical action” to win back customers and said he expects 2016 to be another year of intense pressure.

    The investment into prices comes on top of the £1 billion over five years Asda said it would invest into price in November 2013.  It is part of Project Renewal – a two-year programme within Asda’s five-year strategy to reinforce its value proposition.

    The news comes as Asda also announced it has joined European buying alliance EMD, which will help develop the company’s own-label range. EMD is made up of 14 national buying structures and pools the collective buying power of 250 supermarket chains. 

    EMD membership will help develop a “radical shake-up” of its approach to buying, Asda said, and alongside leverage from IPL it will be able to “release significant savings from its supply chain”.

    Clarke said: “Asda is unquestionably the UK’s lowest price full range supermarket business and we intend to strengthen that position. Indeed, we reaffirmed this as 2016 began when we became the first retailer to cut unleaded and diesel prices below £1.

    “The structure of UK grocery retailing has permanently changed to reflect the way that customers shop today. Being part of Walmart also gives us insight into similar trends in the rest of the world and it’s clear that this is a global phenomenon.”

    Clarke said Asda saw the change coming and responded in 2013 but “didn’t move fast enough”. “There is currently no growth in the food market and the rise of the limited assortment discounters means that we must take radical action to win back our customers. Today, from our strong financial position, we are taking another bold step forward in our five year strategy,” he said.

    “Fundamentally changing how we buy products means we can realise significant savings from our cost base and pass these directly to customers through a rebased pricing model. Joining forces with the huge EMD network of 250 European supermarkets will give us significant economies of scale. We’ll continue to work with our suppliers to lower costs in our supply chain and return sales to growth in partnership.

    “But we are not complacent. We remain cautious and, as the chancellor warned on Thursday, we expect that 2016 will be another year of intense pressure at a macro-economic level in addition to sales remaining under strain from price deflation, a continued competitive background throughout the sector and radically changing customer shopping habits.”

    Alongside the price cuts, Asda will also invest in 95 of its largest stores to make them “more relevant”, removing “fringe ranges” and investing in own-label.

    Clarke continued: “We know our customers better than anyone else and we need to structure our offer to meet their changing needs. This knowledge has shaped our plans to make our bigger stores easier to shop, laying them out in a way that’s relevant to today’s customers by removing fringe, marginal ranges, significantly investing in our own label ranges and providing services that they need.”

    He warned that industry faces “more turbulence” in the short-term, but insisted that in the long-term he has the “right and winning strategy”.

    “We expect that 2016 will be another year of intense pressure at a macroeconomic level, in addition to sales remaining under strain from price deflation, a continued competitive background throughout the sector, and radically changing customer shopping habits,” Clarke said.

    The news comes as both Aldi and Lidl begun 2016 by reducing the price point of select promoted fresh produce items from 39p to 29p. Trading figures for the key Christmas period are due this week (w/c 11 January) for several of the major retailers, with Asda due to report in mid February.

    Asda invests £500m into new price cuts

    George Perry will provide free produce to children at its Joe Richards Midlands grocery chain to encourage healthy eating

    Birmingham wholesaler, George Perry has begun offering free fruit to children at its Joe Richards retail and grocery stores to encourage healthy eating.

    The initiative will take place at the firm’s six existing shops at Earlsdon, Erdington, Harborne, and Daventry Road in Coventry, Kenilworth and Tamworth, as well as its new shop at Ball Hill in Coventry.

    George Perry managing director Mark Tate said: “It’s through educating and encouraging our children on what to eat now, we will drive obesity down and with the backing of schools and the government, encourage exercise and a general healthier lifestyle.

    “Using the shops, we now have the medium to push this forward. Fingers crossed others may follow our venture.”

    George Perry has also launched a new online wholesale service, via its new website and Click & Collect Fresh system, which Tate said he sees as “the future of the markets”.

    Wholesaler set to offer free fruit to kids

    The retailer said that it believed this was thanks in part to a Christmas direct marketing campaign “landing with customers”

    Total divisional sales excluding fuel were up 4.7% on last year at Waitrose for the week ending 14 November 2015.

    The retailer said that it believed this was thanks in part to a Christmas direct marketing campaign “landing with customers”.

    Waitrose’s online channel also delivered, with grocery sales 26.1% higher than last year following a promotion.

    Fruit performed well in the period covered, with frozen fruit up by a third, soft fruit up 9%, and pears up 4% respectively.

    Sweet potato sales, meanwhile, were up 32% on the same week last year.

    Waitrose sales up, spearheaded by strong fruit figures
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