Petrow Food Group, leading suppliers of specialised ingredients to the food industry, has invested in new state-of-the-art laser scanning and packaging technology at its £4 million factory and warehouse facility in Haverhill, Suffolk. The company has invested approx. £350,000 in two new machines to maximise food safety, reduce the risk of contamination and improve supply chain efficiencies.
A TOMRA laser scanner was installed mid-2015 at the new 80,000 sq. ft. factory in Haverhill which was purchased by Petrow Food Group in late 2014. The high-tech state-of-the-art machine, is a front and rear laser scanner designed to clean unwanted shells and foreign bodies from food ingredients before processing. The scanner can also sort ingredients to customer’s colour grading specifications.
“The laser scanner capability ramps up the safety of food ingredients and brings a new level of quality assurance,” explains Ian Tatchell, Managing Director, Petrow Food Group. The machine scans ingredients such as nuts and seeds to remove any objects including stones, shells and other impurities significantly reducing the risk of contamination.
In addition, Petrow Food Group has invested in a NIVERPLAST case erecting, case lining and case sealing machine with bespoke additional capabilities including automated weighing system, metal detection and labelling. The machine fills and seals all products in standard 12.5 kilo boxes, or bespoke sizes, ready for distribution.
“We have invested in technology that generates quicker throughput,” says Ian Tatchell. “The automated system streamlines the packaging process and creates cost and operational efficiencies.”
The 7.2 acre Haverhill site purchased in 2014 by the Petrow Food Group was previously purpose built for a food ingredients company and became operational in 2015, this coincided with a complete rebranding of the company. The site has significantly upgraded the company’s processing and screening facilities, which include dried fruit, coconut, date and nut products (excluding groundnuts).
Petrow Food Group incorporates Petrow Food Industries (PFI) and also Quality Kernels Ltd which it purchased in 2013. The Group combines PFI’s leading know-how in chopping, pasting and slicing dried fruit with Quality Kernels’ expertise in nibbing, grinding, pasting and roasting of a full range of nuts and seeds in a peanut free environment.
“Petrow Food Group can now offer the complete package of both the trading and processing of nuts, seeds, coconuts, dates and dried fruit,” adds Ian Tatchell. “The Haverhill site has increased production capacity to support growth within our ingredient product and contract packing business.”
The Group will continue with its blending and packaging lines at its Perivale site in West London where it has a segregated facility for the handling of groundnuts and allergens. Both of the Petrow facilities have been awarded and currently hold A rating certification under BRC Global Standards, the leading Food Safety Standard. The Group is also a member of the National Dried Fruits Trade (NDFTA) and Organic Farmers & Growers Associations.
Petrow Food Group supplies a wide range of dried fruit and nut products to a variety of companies from blue chip companies to artisan manufacturers of chocolates, muesli, breakfast cereals, snack foods, ready meals, pickles, sauces and bakery products. The group offers customers in wholesale and manufacturing a complete range of processing and packing services. It also offers industrial, foodservice and retail clients a contract packing business. All production takes place in allergen-controlled and organic approved environments and all products are fully traceable back to origin.