Harlech wins three-year deal to supply Welsh NHS with groceries

Harlech Foodservice has won a contract to help feed 11,000 Welsh hospital patients every day.

Left to right: Harlech Foodservice’s health, care & education director Mark Lawton, managing director David Cattrall, and head of operations Ian Evans.

The three-year deal to supply the Welsh NHS with groceries will create nine new jobs and provide continued stability for the rest of the 200-strong workforce.

The firm, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and has its headquarters in Criccieth in Gwynedd, will be delivering 450 lines of dry store products like canned goods, pulses and rice to 120 locations across Wales, including general hospitals and community hospitals.

As well as its traditional customer base in the hospitality sector, Harlech supplies schools across the six counties of North Wales and into the North West to serve up meals for 150,000 pupils daily.

In addition, Harlech is a major supplier to care homes across North and Mid Wales and has seen significant growth in that sector too.

As a result, the company is on course for record sales this year and as part of its growth strategy has invested £500,000 to increase storage capacity, reconfiguring the racking in its giant freezer and buying ‘bendy’ forklift trucks to navigate the narrower aisles.

Health, care & education director Mark Lawton said that winning the new business from NHS Wales was a major vote of confidence in Harlech. “It provides us with great stability throughout the year which is a big help in rebalancing our traditional core base of customers in hospitality who are by definition largely seasonal.

“It means we are part of the year-round foundational economy, providing essential goods and services and helping keep the Welsh pound in Wales, making it work hard to boost our nation’s prosperity – something that has been made possible by the enlightened procurement policies of NHS Wales.

“It certainly chimes with our ethos because wherever possible we also use Welsh companies for our support services, whether that’s for recycling, gardening or the electricians we use.

“Securing this contract will also help in terms of our logistics and delivery pattern pan-Wales and will help us minimise our carbon footprint. It’s about shortening the supply chain.”

He continued: “It’s a real feather in Harlech’s cap and we’re really honoured and hugely proud to be supporting the NHS which does such a brilliant job. It was born in Wales and is one of our proudest achievements as a nation.

“The fact that we have been chosen as a trusted supplier is a real badge of honour and shows that Harlech delivers the gold standard in terms of food distribution, that we are safe, secure and compliant enough to supply hospitals across Wales.

“It sends an excellent message to all our existing customers and prospective customers, giving them reassurance and peace of mind about the quality of our service.”

Head of operations Ian Evans added: “We see this as an important new contract for Harlech as it will create new jobs – four in North Wales and five in South Wales where we recently opened a new depot in Merthyr Tydfil.

“We have taken on new lorries and some of the posts are driving posts so its an important part of our expansion and strengthens our presence throughout Wales.”

Equally delighted was Harlech managing director David Cattrall whose strategy has included securing additional, all-year-round business from the public sector instead of being too reliant on often seasonal demand from the hospitality industry.

He said: “We have been serving NHS Wales for two years and we are pleased to see them showing support for Harlech Foodservice by rewarding us with further contracts.

“This supports our strategy to broaden across Wales using our strong Welsh supply chain, which supports the farming and manufacturing sectors and helps maintain many Welsh based jobs. We hope this is the start of a long-term relationship with NHS Wales.”

Harlech Foodservice has bases at Criccieth, Chester and Merthyr Tydfil, and between the three locations the company runs a fleet of 60 vehicles to deliver up to 5,000 product lines to cafés, restaurants, pubs and public sector customers across the North West of England, Shropshire, the Midlands and across the whole of Wales.

Published Date: June 21, 2023
Category: Wholesale Industry News