The Importance Of Our Supply Chain

A good quality product only comes from good quality raw materials!  Both understanding and working with our suppliers is of paramount importance to Randall Parker Foods – even if they are on the other side of the world!

At the beginning of the year Kevin Hilton (Senior Technical Manager For Randall Parker Foods) accompanied one of our major customers to New Zealand to inspect the sites that supply our New Zealand lamb.  Starting at Invercargill at the bottom of the South Island and working up to Imlay in the middle of the North Island the visit took in 14 processing sites and two farm visits over a space of 18 days.  The very dry start to the year in New Zealand put the processing plants under pressure as farmers looked to move their stock on as quickly as possible.  Being able to see the plants operating at capacity and maintaining their high standards was an important part of the visit.  It was also an invaluable opportunity for Randall Parker Foods to talk to the plants about the pressures of dealing with the British retail consumer.  Visits like this ensure that we are always able to serve our customers with the best quality lamb that they deserve.

During the visit there was just enough down-time to visit the Totara Estate.  This was where in late 1881 the first lamb carcasses were slaughtered for the UK market.  The carcasses were transported to Port Chalmers and loaded aboard the S.S.Dunedin.  The carcasses were frozen on-board using the latest steam engine powered air cycle refrigeration system.  The frozen cargo sailed for London in February 1882, signalling the start of the refrigerated food trade which lifted New Zealand from a small subsistence economy into a prosperous country.



With thanks to the Totara Estate: Totara Estate