Bute Island Foods awards distribution contract for Sheese brand to Culina

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Bute Island Foods: using Culina's shared distribution model for vegan cheese lines

Bute Island Foods: using Culina’s shared distribution model for vegan cheese lines

Bute Island Foods has awarded a new distribution contract for its Sheese brand of vegan, dairy-free cheese products to Culina Logistics, a leading provider of logistics services for food and drink companies.

The company said it wanted to access the services of a specialist logistics partner and reach a wider market more easily and efficiently. Products are now delivered to wholesalers and retailers throughout the UK by Culina Logistics using its shared user model and network of 10 depots.

“Culina is providing an ideal solution which enables us to meet demanding delivery deadlines,” said Mark Crichton at Bute Island Foods. “We were impressed with the set up when we met the team and we have been very pleased with the service.”

The award-winning vegan, dairy-free soft and hard cheese range, sold under the Sheese brand, has been produced in Scotland by Bute Island Foods since 1988 and the company now exports all over the world.

Distribution to the UK was previously managed from Scotland but the company said it recognised it would be able to reach a wider market more effectively by transferring to a service provider with national capability and facilities further south.

According to the company, it wanted to work with a market leading specialist and identified Culina Logistics as an ideal partner following an extensive market review. The contract started in the first quarter of 2012.

Culina Logistics manages the Bute Island Foods from its Stafford facility, which is close to the centre of the UK with good motorway links.

Stock is transferred by third parties from Bute Island Foods’ production plants in Scotland to Culina’s Stafford warehouse, from where it manages fulfilment to wholesalers and retailers throughout the UK and Ireland utilising a shared user model across its network of 10 sites, which is claimed to ensure efficient and timely delivery with the minimum number of vehicle movements and lead times.

Culina said the shared user model is extremely useful for specialist producers such as Bute Island Foods because it provides access to national distribution networks and high service levels without any restrictions on the volumes being shipped while supporting flexibility, adaptability and scalability to meet ever changing requirements.

In this type of operation storage and distribution infrastructure and services are shared between users throughout the Culina Logistics network.

Any Culina vehicle on the road will be carrying products for multiple customers while individual pallets might also contain products from different suppliers but with a common, shared destination.

In this way Culina said it optimises not only the resources utilised in each depot throughout the network but ensures each vehicle is filled as fully as possible for effective, economical and sustainable transportation.

Supply chain efficiencies and economies of scale allow Culina to provide efficient and cost effective solutions to customers of all sizes which can be scaled up and down to meet seasonal peaks and the demands of promotions, the company claims.

“Culina is very good at managing the contract and working with us,” said Crichton. “They spot when patterns are out of the ordinary and it is good to know that everything is being taken care of. The service is helping us to reduce our administrative overheads.”