Dairy marks its third birthday with new Climping depot

Having recently celebrated its third birthday, Southern Dairies has completed the final fittings to its new purpose designed depot in Climping.

Not only has this enabled the staff to work in much more hospitable surroundings, but it also triples the footprint of the chiller room and adds a dedicated ‘picking area’ for the fresh veg and dry goods.

The chiller room dramatically increases the capacity for overnight deliveries of fresh milk, dairy products and meats, and streamlines the preparation of the milk rounds.

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With over 300 products now listed for doorstep deliveries throughout Southwest Sussex, the extra space was crucial to the continued growth of this local family business.

Bognor Regis Town Mayor, Steve Goodheart cuts the ribbon with Southern Dairies MD Robbie Cameron. Henry Burrell, vice chair of Climping Parish Council is in the Climping centre with some of the staff. SUS-220504-131114001

With the company ethos firmly supporting sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment, the majority of the fixtures and fittings were recycled from their original base and incorporated into the new premises which had great money saving implications, too.

But it hasn’t all been plain sailing.

With the onset of the pandemic, demand for home deliveries soared.

Whilst this was obviously good for business growth, the sheer scale of the demand put huge pressures on the logistics.

The team pulled together and came through doing very well to avoid any of the shortages that many experienced elsewhere in the food delivery industry.

Then came the fuel shortages which again presented a sizable challenge in keeping the fleet of delivery vehicles running.

Only one round was missed throughout the fuel crisis and was rectified the very next day.

The next challenge came in the form of increased energy costs.

The irony now is that recharging the electric milk floats is starting to offset any carbon footprint saving made by using them.

The team will be monitoring this closely and believe that prices will have to fall again in the future so you’ll still be seeing the old traditional milk floats out and about in the early hours.

Southern Dairies MD said: “We are just one example of how small local businesses have had to really duck and dive over the last two years, but with teamwork and perseverance, these trials can be overcome.

“Unfortunately, the knock-on effect for all of us are price increases across the board.

“Most businesses, including our own, will do their very best to absorb increases in the operational overheads but when so many come along at once, it isn’t always possible.

“The big players in the milk industry force farms to operate with minimal resource and for pitiful returns in order to drive prices down, but it’s the animals who really suffer.

“As consumers, we can vote with our wallets, we can choose to fuel poor animal welfare though the multiples or, spend our money with independent organisations who have so much more than their bottom lines driving their decision making.”

Councillor Steve Goodheart, Mayor of Bognor Regis, said: “It’s great to come and see a local business flying the environmental flag for our area and that the local population are signing up to reduce the huge impact that single use plastic cartons is having. I wish them well for the future.”

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