Canada-based Dairy Crest entered into discussions to form a strategic partnership with Fowler Welch, a UK logistics provider, at its national distribution center in Nuneaton, England. The partnership is expected to be in place by the beginning of June, and will enable Fowler Welch to take over the operation of all transport operations at the Dairy Crest site in Warwickshire.

The partnership will build on the knowledge of both businesses to optimize logistics operations at the state-of-the-art Nuneaton distribution center. Fowler Welch, which already supplies warehouse and transport operations for major retail customers, will work with Dairy Crest to provide storage and network solutions to manufacturers and growers throughout the Midlands.

Dairy Crest will continue to operate the warehouse and other site functions, including gatehouse, control room, customer service and stock management. It will also maintain control of storing and distributing its brands, including Cathedral City cheese, Country Life butter and spreadable and Clover spreads. Around 100 Dairy Crest transport department employees will transfer to Fowler Welch.

The partnership will also build on current in-house operations and extend the site’s warehousing and transport operations to other chilled food manufacturers.

“Dairy Crest’s distribution operations have a well-recognized track record of excellent service to our retail customers, through distributing our brands,” says Mark Allen, chief executive for Dairy Crest. “Since the sale of our dairies business in December 2015, we have been looking to work collaboratively with third parties to ensure the efficient use of our supply chain assets. We believe that by entering into this proposed strategic partnership with Fowler Welch, we will have an attractive proposition for new and existing clients that builds on the strengths and services of both organizations.”

“We have worked with Dairy Crest to develop a unique solution that will allow both companies to maximize the value of the site. It is a clear demonstration of our philosophy of listening, responding and delivering,” addsNick Hay, Fowler Welch managing director. “This will be a major milestone for us, as we will have achieved our strategic goal of having a logistics platform in the Midlands offering manufacturers and growers national reach to all retailers on a shared-user basis.”