Harlech Foodservice invests to reduce CO2 and save energy
Harlech is on course for significant CO2 and energy cost reductions, alongside record sales this year, as it invests in more environmentally friendly systems
Among a package of initiatives, the foodservice wholesaler has increased the capacity of its giant freezer by 25% after reconfiguring the racking with narrower aisles and adding an extra row. As a result, the capacity of the freezer has been increased by 270 pallets to a total of 1,100.
As part of the plan the company also bought “bendy” forklift trucks that can navigate the tighter spaces, and installed a new, more environmentally friendly refrigeration system to keep the temperature in the freezer at a constant -21C.
The measures will lead to an annual reduction of more than 111 tonnes of CO2 emissions as well as generating significant savings on the energy bill.
Joint Chairman Andrew Foskett explains that the investment is part of Harlech’s long-term growth strategy.
“The scheme to increase the capacity of our freezer is part of our long term expansion plans and is necessary to cater for the surge in demand that we are seeing.
“Thanks to our loyal customers enjoying our competitive prices and excellent service, we are seeing double digit growth compared to the volumes we were seeing before the pandemic.
“Our customers in Wales and in the North West of England are showing great resilience in the face of a challenging environment in hospitality and and we are on track for a record year in 2023.”
Harlech’s turnover is set to hit an all-time high of £38 million this year; well above the previous, pre-pandemic record of £32 million. The increase is partly supported by Harlech’s recent and biggest-ever Food Expo in Llandudno where the company saw record sales of £600,000 and a crowd of more than 2,500 visitors.
The expansion plans are being driven by Managing Director David Cattrall, who said: “Sales have been growing really well in the last 12 months or so which is down to the support of our customers as well as, growth in the education and health sectors which has been a new focus for us and quite honestly, we were running out of space.
“We have been using third party storage to help ourselves work through the year which obviously adds costs and complexity.
“The beauty about moving to these narrow aisles is that you’re freezing less air and your energy is going into stock which holds the temperature better. It’s actually cheaper to run a fuller freezer than an empty freezer.
“The upshot is that we’ve gained in the region of 25% more stock in that same space for less cost, so thinking outside the box in this way made a lot of financial sense. By increasing capacity by 25% and reducing energy costs we can continue investing in competitive prices for our customers.
“It’s involved a significant investment, particularly when we’ve come out of a pandemic, but we’ve been able to do it because of the support we’ve seen from the customers that has given us the growth that’s created the need and allowed us to invest and lay the foundation for long term future growth over the next 10 years or so.”Andrew Foskett CO2 emissions David Cattrall energy Harlech Foodservice sustainability