Category: Cold Store Legends
Barpro Storage – Excellence in Fruit packaging industry
In 2015 Capespan Group continued its growth with the acquisition of a modern new packhouse on the banks of the Berg River in Paarl, Western Cape, as well as sizeable new apple and pear farms. Novo Packhouse, a state-of-the-art Topfruit packing facility opened in Paarl in 2009 was previously owned by Colors Fruit, and will allow its new owners to handle much of the abundant fruit harvest of the region including farms in nearby Ceres, Villiersdorp, Piketberg, Grabouw and the Boland.
“Novo Project Engineer Henco Smit comments. “Mobile racking working with Barpro SA was a no-brainer really. 1600 pallets, all of which are individually accessible, in rooms that would have otherwise carried not much more than half this number.
With Barpro’s extensive track record of previous such projects, we had absolute confidence that the facility would be up and running on schedule. They did not let us down.”
According to Capespan, the centre was already equipped with modern packing technology and storage, but this would not meet the needs of the extended operation, with increased volumes from their own farms as well as several independent growers. The decision was made to greatly expand the facility with new CA rooms and holding rooms. Additional new pre-cooling tunnels will be added later. The expanded facility will now cater for the cooling, packing, holding, and export of apples and pears; but also the packing of other fruit – stone-fruits, grapes, etc. – with a total packing capacity of up to 120,000 bins a year.
The existing pre-cooling ‘pull-down’ tunnels have a capacity of 560 pallets, and the new tunnels planned will increase this capacity to 800/900 pallets, while the new C.A. (controlled atmosphere) rooms for long-term storage can handle up to 26,000 bins. New holding rooms have added 1600 pallets (2000 tonnes) of fruit to the 600 pallets already accommodated in the previous facilities.
Storax mobile racking was the system of choice for the new holding rooms. Novo Project Engineer Henco Smit comments. “Mobile racking working with Barpro SA was a no-brainer really. 1600 pallets, all of which are individually accessible, in rooms that would have otherwise carried not much more than half this number. With Barpro’s extensive track record of previous such projects, we had absolute confidence that the facility would be up and running on schedule. They did not let us down.”
The project was successfully completed in the early part of the year, ready in time for the 2016 harvest.
South African Cold Storage Legend – Iqbal Faki Dawood
Our Johannesburg Branch Manager, Corné Stapelberg met up with one of South Africa’s cold storage veterans, Mr Iqbal Faki Dawood, owner of F Dawood & Son, to discuss his experience in the cold storage industry. Iqbal has a number of cold stores and distribution centres around the country. His Johannesburg facility stores approximately 3900 pallets on Storax mobile racking and has to be one of the best cared for ammonia plants in the region.
How long have you been working in cold storage?
I’ve been in the industry for 40 years.
What type of challenges did you have to face?
The cold storage industry was an evolution. I started way back with retail. Initially the chicken industry had no frozen product, only fresh. Basically two items, whole chickens and what they then called a curry pack, which was the downgraded birds with broken wings etc.
How do you overcome challenges?
Challenges have now changed dramatically. Chicken is the most popular protein at the moment. We need to keep up with the demand. We have found a niche market with the “smaller” businesses and we are able to keep them happy.
How did your family and personal life fit into your career?
We keep the balance and make sure we make time for family. People get so involved in their business that they forget to interact socially with family.
What do you do in your spare time to unwind?
To get rid of the stress I use to visit friends and travel a lot. Nowadays not that much.
In our view business is not always first and foremost. We make time for our families and it gives us time to unwind a bit.
What are your views on the future of the cold store industry?
There will always be a need, especially in terms of the evolution of the food industry. There will always be a need for frozen foods, irrespective of the fast food industry. It all depends on how many people would want to enter the distribution market and for what kind of margins they are willing to work with.
You have an impeccable storage facility. What is the best advice you could give to any cold store owner, whether it’s new or old?
Our store is owner driven which makes a big difference and good housekeeping is key.
For more information contact F. Dawood on 011 918 4769
South African Cold Storage Legend – Sunil Inarmal
Our Cold Store Legend for the month of November is Sunil Inarmal, Manager of Congella Cold Store in Durban who, in his two and a half decades in the cold storage industry, has seen cold stores upgraded and another almost burnt to the ground.
At 54, Sunil Inarmal has been active in Durban’s cold store industry for 25 years. He started as a temporary checker at the Maydon Wharf cold store in 1992 and progressed to cold room supervisor. Moving to Bayhead cold storage he became senior supervisor and assistant to the cold store manager. In November 2009 he joined the Chester Group in opening Congella Cold Store, as a cold store manager he oversaw an upgrade of freezer rooms, including the installation of Storax mobile racking and pallet conveyors.
His worst experience was battling a fire at Bayhead cold storage.
The freezer rooms ended up with six inches of water after the fire was extinguished on the third day. The defrosted product had to be dumped and the smell was awful. The fire was contained by the heroic actions of the Durban fire brigade who climbed onto the cold room ceilings and cut the insulated panels, preventing the fire from spreading.
Sunil has worked with 5 different warehouse management systems including SAP, Data Point, Accellos, Nevision and Macro 2000. Congella, which uses Data Point, can move up to 1500 pallets a week into and out of the freezers using the data Point system. Congella cold store assists customers around the clock, 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Sunil lives in Newlands where his wife works as PA to the MD of a manufacturing company. His daughter is a third year student at the University of KwaZulu Natal studying applied Chemistry. He attributes his good health to working at minus 25 as bacteria cannot survive at these temperatures and his greatest wish is to build and manage a new cold store in the Durban area.
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