Business

Willowbrook Foods successfully battles the 'Beast from the East'

Willowbrook Foods managing director John McCann at the company's new production facility

WHILE many businesses across the north were disrupted due to the effects of the 'Beast from the East', fresh foods producer Willowbrook Foods reported an uninterrupted service during the extreme weather conditions.

Willowbrook's retail and foodservice customers received their orders as normal, as managing director, John McCann explained:

“Priority for us at all times is the delivery of exceptional service to our customers. When the snow and low temperatures hit Ireland in late February and early March, our logistics team worked quickly with our haulier partners to set a plan in place.Whilst one retailer had to completely close their depot for a day, we were able to house their delivery within a chilled location until they were ready to accept it. We then increased our production significantly to meet the double order the retailer required in the days that followed.

“Another retailer, who normally provides their own collection lorries to our site, was unable to send their vehicles on account of the weather. We provided an alternative solution to them, using our own partners to deliver product from us to their base,” he said.

Stretching beyond its Irish market, Willowbrook had ensure continuity of service in Britain, despite the main ports being closed.

“We collaborated with our partners throughout the supply chain to ensure that our product was ready on time to cross the water and reach our major foodservice and retail customers in England. This meant starting production earlier in order to meet shipping times. Our supply chain management process allowed us to ensure there was zero shortage to our customer base during this particularly bad period of weather, with all customers receiving fresh product throughout," Mr McCann added.

Ireland's largest bagged salad producer Willowbrook opened a new £700,000 production facility in Co Down in January.

The fresh foods producer has developed a production facility in Newtownards, which the company hopes will enhance production, facilitate new product development and grow sales across Ireland and Britain.

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