Dairy Crest Group plc (“Dairy Crest”) is today announcing that it has entered into discussions to form a strategic partnership with Fowler Welch at its National Distribution Centre (NDC) in Nuneaton. The partnership is expected to be in place by the beginning of June 2016, and will enable Fowler Welch to take over the operation of all transport operations at the Dairy Crest site in Warwickshire.
The partnership will build on the knowledge of both businesses to optimise logistics operations at the state of the art distribution centre. Fowler Welch, which already supplies warehouse and transport operations for major retail customers, will work with Dairy Crest to provide storage and network solutions to manufacturers and growers throughout the Midlands.
Dairy Crest will continue to operate the warehouse and other site functions including gatehouse, control room, customer services and stock management. It will maintain control of storing and distributing its stable of brands, including Cathedral City cheese, Country Life butter and spreadable, and Clover spreads. Subject to employee consultation and completion of the agreement negotiations, around one hundred Dairy Crest transport department employees will transfer to Fowler Welch.
Under the proposed long-term partnership, Fowler Welch will work with Dairy Crest to maximise the capacity of the site. The partnership will build on current in-house operations and extend the site’s industry leading warehousing and transport operations to other chilled food manufacturers. The Dairy Crest NDC, located at Bermuda Park, Nuneaton is ideally located for manufacturers and retailers throughout the country.
Commenting on the proposed partnership, Mark Allen, Chief Executive, Dairy Crest, said:
“Dairy Crest’s distribution operations have a well-recognised track record of excellent service to our retail customers, through distributing our brands including Cathedral City, Clover and Country Life. Since the Sale of our Dairies business in December 2015, we have been looking to work collaboratively with third parties to ensure the efficient use of our supply chain assets. We believe that by entering into this proposed strategic partnership with Fowler Welch we will have an attractive proposition for new and existing clients, that builds on the strengths and services of both organisations.”
Fowler Welch Managing Director, Nick Hay said:
“We have worked with Dairy Crest to develop a unique solution that will allow both companies to maximise the value of the site. It is a clear demonstration of our philosophy of listening, responding and delivering.”
This will be a major milestone for us as we will have achieved our strategic goal of having a logistics platform in the Midlands offering manufacturers and growers national reach to all retailers on a shared-user basis.”