Major investment of £200k in contract packing, coding and sealing lines has delivered significant benefits over the ‘season of goodwill’ for forward thinking Midlands based food storage and distribution firm, Oakland International. Already gaining from a steady increase in contract packing order numbers, the firm’s significant investment meant they could further extend customers’ seasonal growth demand through the addition of five more lines to support their Christmas party food and year-round tempering and coding operations. Oakland International MD, Dean Attwell, stated: “The contract packing sector has continued to demonstrate increased demand with more of our customers expanding and wanting this service during 2013; Oakland needed to invest time and money into this growing sector, to maintain our reputation as a partner of choice for year-round and seasonal contract packing.” “Our investment in new conveyors, label machines, coders and the refurbishment of our storage and chiller facilities will facilitate focus on the job in hand,” said Dean. “And working across multi disciplines of the supply chain we support all manner of ambient, chilled, frozen food tempering and contract packing services for our customers, Oakland’s activity peaks also encompass the distribution of pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, and of course Easter.” Commenting further he added, "We were also pleased to see a number of new retail clients come on board who have previously been strangers to the opportunities presented through the use of out-sourced tempering, coding and packing solutions. The benefits of tempering for short shelf-life and niche products are increasingly understood with significant reductions in wastage at store level, improved bulk purchasing power for the retailer and better shelf life for the customer. If a product states that it is suitable for home freezing, it should also be suitable for tempering." Over the Christmas period, more than 2 million extra packs of party food were handled in addition to the company's core chilled, ambient and frozen picking and supply chain business. This represented a significant increase in both the traditional and oriental party foods, including Christmas mini-pizza selections, Christmas Gateau’s and desserts as well as a variety of savoury stuffings. Established year-round and seasonal contract packing specialists, Oakland’s membership of the British Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association (BCMPA) and accreditation by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) adds additional weight to the firm’s highly-valued skill set, with sector business growth in the spotlight for the coming year.