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Nut free chocolate storage and handling needs met

Over recent years nut allergy has become a growing issue for both consumers and producers alike. In April 1999, confectionery producer, Kinnerton became the first manufacturer in the world to address the problems of nut-contamination in chocolate products by creating a nut free zone in their factory. A dividing wall was constructed between the factory and warehouse to provide two entirely separate areas and all the production lines were moved. The company introduced a vast range of measures such as separate uniforms and canteens for 'nut' and 'nut free' workers to avoid any chance of contamination.

With well over a million people in the UK suffering from nut allergy – and for many anaphylactic shock would prove fatal – no risks can be taken. Kinnerton, now established as world leaders in 'nut free' production are a key supplier of 'nut free' confectionery to Marks & Spencer, who sell the products under their own name.

Both Kinnerton and M&S set very exacting standards for their suppliers to meet. One such supplier is logistics company Ken Thomas. Although used to Kinnerton's expectations having worked with them for several years Ken Thomas, a division of Seafield Logistics, had not previously been involved in the 'nut free' side of the business. The company was set the challenge of providing a nut free environment for the storage and handling of Kinnerton's nut free products for M&S.

A dedicated team at Ken Thomas in Guyhirn, Cambridgeshire, were tasked with implementing several changes to the operation which included introducing M&S's food handling practices, M&S quality assurance and process controls and meeting Kinnerton's and M&S's personnel standards. Alterations to the warehouse facilities by Ken Thomas included installing a fast action door, improving lighting systems and installing safety barriers within the warehouse. Kinnerton undertook several audits throughout the process before Marks & Spencer's final audit which gave Ken Thomas their seal of approval to store the M&S finished products.

Ken Thomas's client Kinnerton is delighted with the result. In a thank you note to staff at Ken Thomas Manufacturing Director Martin Mallinson said, “Thank you all for the tremendous effort you and your teams have made in achieving Marks & Spencer's approval to store our products. A lot of time and effort has been put in during the last few months resulting in this successful achievement.”

Since receiving approval, Ken Thomas has taken delivery of two new trailers specifically for the Kinnerton contract. These are 'double deck' trailers which have been custom built for Seafield to meet Kinnerton's distribution requirements. The trailers were supplied by Specialised Trailer Hire Ltd.

Kinnerton's account manager at Seafield Logistics, Craig Evans, is experiencing a growing trend amongst customers towards their logistics suppliers. Craig reports, “More and more we are being asked by customers to meet their particular standards. When it comes to customers such as Kinnerton and M&S these can be very specific and require innovative solutions.” He adds, “With the growth in popularity of organic foods we are likely to see more manufacturers setting these types of challenges for their logistics suppliers when awarding new contracts”.

ends

For further information contact:

Joss Simpson at Liz Lean PR on 01202 884095 or 07710 145722 or joss@lizleanpr.co.uk
Mark Strong at Seafield Logistics on 01909 475561 or mark.strong@seafield.co.uk

Editor's notes

The Seafield Logistics group of companies includes Seafield Logistics Ltd, Ken Thomas Logistics Ltd and Ken Thomas Ltd. The main activities of Seafield Logistics and its associated companies are; distribution (specialising in bulk powder, chemicals (non hazardous), FMCG, glass, packaging, retail and steel); dedicated distribution centre operation and management and; contract packing and re-labelling. Seafield operate a fleet of over 150 vehicles and employ 200 drivers across 16 locations. The company manages over 1.3 million square feet of warehousing.

Seafield Logistics' head office is in Worksop, Nottinghamshire with other operating centres located in Aylesham, Barnsley, Guyhirn, Northwich and Scunthorpe.

Customers include:
• B&Q
• Brunner Mond
• Nky logistics
• Campbells
• Corus
• Dow Chemicals
• Gainsborough Showers
• London Fancy Box
• Makro
• MKF Folien
• Omya
• Redfern Glass
• Rockware Glass
• Sharp Interpack
• Singleton Birch
• Solvay Chemicals
• Wilkinsons
• WBB Minerals

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