We are focused on developing a highly effective and efficient supply chain based on long-term sustainable relationships.
Over the years, we have established a supply chain sourcing strategy that ensures we can collect, process and deliver fresh food in optimum condition to our food service and retail partners – precisely when and where they need it.
We have rigorously tested contingency plans in place so that we can react quickly to challenges related to the weather, crop changes and transport, and still meet our customers’ expectations.
We constantly work to improve the efficiency of our supply chain using lean manufacturing principles. These principles are used by our Continuous Improvement project team. They identify waste in the system and eliminate costs that add no value, thereby driving a lower cost producer business model.
Taking partnership to a new level
We rely on a network of carefully selected suppliers and enjoy developing long-standing relationships with these companies, many of which are based in the local area. We work together to build mutually-beneficial partnerships that aim to go beyond the traditional customer/supplier relationship.
For example, we have a long-term partnership with The Lettuce Company, which grows produce for us just metres from where it will be processed. The Lettuce Company is one of our key growers, supplying us with over 3,000 tonnes of baby leaf and whole leaf lettuce last year alone.
We also hold a bi-annual suppliers’ conference to help reinforce our relationships with all the people who work so hard with us to produce and deliver fantastic products. This year our conference was open to all suppliers from fruit and salad producers, ingredient suppliers and packaging companies through to hauliers. It is a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved to network and learn from each other, share new market insights, and give feedback on areas of innovation from packaging to processing equipment.
Supplier Spotlight: Stuart Lyons Haulage
Andy Jenner, Managing Director of Stuart Lyons Haulage, has worked with Natures Way Foods for three and a half years now. Here he shares his insights into the partnership and how his company adds value to the operation.
What services do you provide for Natures Way Foods?
“We provide transport and logistic solutions. Put simply, we move product in and out of their three main sites, both collecting product to take to customers and delivering product from their suppliers.
“Historically, produce suppliers were responsible for delivering their products to the Natures Way Foods premises. However, we now take care of that and collect the produce from suppliers.”
How do you add value?
“We find ways for Natures Way Foods to operate more efficiently, by minimising transport costs to make their business as competitive as possible. For example, we might suggest delivering products to Morrisons in Sittingbourne, Kent, then collecting fresh salad produce from a supplier a few miles away and return it to site.
“It’s very satisfying knowing that our partnership helps the business be the best it can be by improving efficiencies and profitability and helping make people’s lives easier.”
What do you enjoy about working with Natures Way Foods?
“I enjoy the partnership relationship. Natures Way Foods are remarkably good at measuring and recognising the performance of their suppliers. The business we do together has grown exponentially since we started working with them, and they’re great at celebrating our successes together.
What do you find most impressive about Natures Way Foods?
“What’s impressive about Natures Way Foods is their agility. Their business has moved on very quickly in the last few years and it’s amazing how quickly they’re able to adjust and respond to changes in the market.”