Press Release Wednesday 22 April 2009 Regional Food Proves To Be Better By Miles. After launching its very own delivery service last year, regional food group HEART of ENGLAND fine foods (HEFF) has completed a study into the miles saved by their unique collaborative distribution model for regional food and drink. Prompted by the recent IGD ECR UK Sustainable Distribution report that illustrated the savings being made by big names in the industry, the HEFF model shows smaller players can also improve environmental performance through effective collaboration. The analysis has been carried out on sections of the distribution network and the „miles saved‟ resulting from using the HEFF Delivery Service has been 60,600 miles in a six month period on just two of the 250 accounts. HEFF is the regional food group for the West Midlands; it delivers supply chain initiatives and business support locally and nationally for its regional food and drink producers – all small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The HEFF Delivery Service, launched in January 2008 has radically reduced the associated miles these food and drink producers clock up by creating a unique collaborative distribution model based entirely on a regional offer. The simple 'One Order, One Delivery, One Invoice' facility has been welcomed by retailers and foodservice companies by making sourcing regional food and drink much more accessible. Louise Pickford, HEFF Business Development Manager, said: "We launched the HEFF Delivery Service to respond to our members‟ requests to help develop a solution for their distribution issues. The aim was to bring efficiencies to the time and cost involved for producers whilst providing a unique delivery offer of food and drink produced only in the Heart of England.” Currently there are 83 producers using the HEFF Delivery Service; customers are in excess of 250 and include Midcounties Co-operative, Morrisons, The National Trust, Countrywide Farmers, Wholefoods London and many independent retailers and food service companies. Sales have exceeded £1 million since its launch. Patrice Garrigues, Ethical Trading Manger for the Midcounties Co-operative, one of the customers involved in the analysis said: “Over the past 12 months our Society has worked with HEFF and their Delivery Service to integrate the distribution of our local food suppliers located in our northern trading area. “The feedback from our store managers has been very positive and this is reflected in the increase volume of sales which we are experiencing.” He added: “Having a single point of order for several producers has reduced the amount of time spend placing orders. The deliveries are consolidated into one single drop that has also reduced our paper trail. The service is reliable and the support given by the Delivery Service team is first class.” Midcounties, which trades in food retail, travel, funeral, pharmacy, childcare and motors, is the second largest independent co-operative society in the UK. Sixty five of its stores use the HEFF Delivery Service to source products from seven HEFF producer members. Bob Patch, National Account Manager for Herefordshire-based Westons Cider is also impressed with the efficiencies the HEFF Delivery Service has brought to the business. “By working in partnership with HEFF we now deliver centrally which has reduced a large number of direct deliveries we would otherwise have made using our own vehicles,” he said. “HEFF offers a twice weekly service and a wide portfolio of product categories which must be kinder to the environment. It is an excellent standard of service enabling stockists of Westons Cider to hold minimum stocks whilst improving their cash flow.” The HEFF Delivery Service stocks lines from any grower or manufacturer of food and drink based in the six counties of the West Midlands and will deliver to customers inside and outside of this region. For more information on the HEFF Delivery Service contact the HEFF office on 01746 785185. ENDS Notes to Editors HEFF press office: Laura Bradbeer Telephone: 01746 785185 Email email@example.com HEART of ENGLAND fine foods was formed in 1998 to promote and raise awareness of food and drink within the West Midlands. Through an extensive programme, the organisation helps the region‟s food and drink businesses to develop and create profitable and sustainable markets for their products. Press visits to the depot and to visit a producer and customer using the HEFF Delivery Service can be arranged for those wishing to find out more. Please call Laura Bradbeer on the contact details above. Projects managed by HEART of ENGLAND fine foods on behalf of the West Midlands Food Partnership are part-funded by Advantage West Midlands, the European Regional Development Fund and the Rural Development Plan for England.