By shaun lowthorpe Business editor
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The boss of EDP Top 100 firm Williams Refrigeration has spent a day carrying out a shift in a newly-built bakery at the Sainsbury’s store in King’s Lynn after sealing a deal to supply products at the store.
Tim Smith, chief executive of parent company AFE Group, undertook a day at the new Hardwick Road store, which already features an array of eco-friendly features such as 1,000 solar panels, rainwater harvesting and a wooden structure made from sustainable sources.
Williams and its sister companies in the AFE Group, Mono and Millers, have a long-standing working association with Sainsbury’s going back more than 25 years and Williams, Mono and Millers equipment can be found in all Sainsbury’s stores.
The firm, which has a turnover of around £45m, employs 300 staff at its King’s Lynn head office and has an additional 350 workers around the world with offices in France, Eire, Dubai, Hong Kong and Australia.
It specialises in the commercial refrigeration market, selling to the catering and retail sectors with clients including Byfords in Holt, Jamie’s Italian, and Emmanuel College Cambridge.
Mr Smith said he wanted to see how well the fridges were coping with demand. The Mono bread plant, baking ovens and Williams’ advanced Eco Touchscreen retarder provers, are used to chill and prove the dough for bread and morning goods.
“We work closely with Sainsbury’s around the UK, but it’s always special to supply your home town store,” he said. “The more so when the products include some of our latest refrigeration technology, such as the fridges and freezers that run on environment-friendly natural refrigerants.
“Working in the store has been quite an eye opener,” he added. “It’s a very useful exercise for suppliers, and gives us a real and first-hand insight into how Sainsbury’s uses our equipment. The experience day gives us the chance to talk to the bakers and see how we might work with them to make continued improvements and innovations to our equipment.”
The eco-friendly refrigeration products at the new Sainsbury’s store were developed under Williams’ Greenlogic initiative.