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ACS&T proves real ideal logistics solution for specialist fish supplier

07 September 2015

Food logistics specialist ACS&T has been chosen by Ideal Foods to supply blast freezing and cold storage facilities for its chilled and frozen fish products.

Ideal Foods, based in Liskeard, Cornwall, is a specialist supplier of whitefish, shellfish and tuna, as well as providing salmon heads and fish bi-products to the Far East and building a presence in the European baby food market.

The ability to offer an ‘end to end’ service was a major reason behind Ideal Foods’ decision to appoint ACS&T to handle the logistics for its frozen and chilled products.

ACS&T provided an on-site facility for Ideal Foods at its Grimsby centre – close to all major fish suppliers – so it can help Ideal carry out product testing and quality checks as soon as possible after delivery. 

It also allows the two companies to work in close partnership to deliver Ideal’s business requirements, with tight communication between the two companies enabling ACS&T to evolve with them.

“ACS&T proved to us that it had the capacity and expertise to meet the complex demands of processing and frozen storage of our products,” said Ideal Food’s managing director Tony Horner.

“Importantly, its blast freezing service gives us the guarantee of high quality and the flexibility we need to meet demand.”

Ideal Foods delivers approximately 120 pallets of chilled food per week to ACS&T’s plant in Grimsby where it is frozen.  Another 150 pallets of frozen goods are handled every week, along with other products in various formats to Ideal’s specification for delivery anywhere across its global customer base.

In total ACS&T holds around 1250 pallets of products for Ideal Foods in its cold storage facility every week, and this can rise to around 1,800 or even 2,500 at peak demand times.

Fish arrives chilled at 5 degrees centigrade. Once unloaded in controlled temperature conditions, pallets are transferred to the blast freezer where the temperature is rapidly reduced by blasting super-cooled air into the freezer.

Rapid freezing means that the water molecules in the fish form smaller ice crystals, maintaining the high quality of the product and allowing it to be frozen for longer periods than would be possible with more conventional methods.

Once frozen, the fish is kept in ACS&T’s temperature-controlled storage facility until needed, and the company operates a sophisticated warehouse management system which guarantees traceability right through to final delivery.

“We worked hard to develop the perfect solution for Ideal Foods, and our ability to offer an all-round service was key to our success in winning the contract,” said ACS&T’s managing director Malcolm Johnstone.

“Our solution was about understanding their needs and defining a solution with them that meets all the characteristics of their requirements, which included providing space for their employees on site.

“The blast freezing process allows our customers to safely store large volumes of product, making for more efficient production, reducing waste and increasing their ability to react to sudden market demands. It also results in a better quality product.”

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