Probus visit to Grocontinental, Whitchurch 15th October 2015
24 members met at 6.30pm on the 30 acre site of Grocontinental on the outskirts of Whitchurch, Shropshire.
We were greeted on arrival and taken into their warm office area where we were split into two groups.
One group was issued with visitor tabards and taken for a guided tour of the distribution warehouses. Our group was taken to a meeting room and the history of the company was explained to us in detail, taking us through their story of a humble beginning in the 1930's to its present day position as one of the Country's leading international storage and distribution companies, with a storage capacity of 143,000 pallets, and an annual turnover of £36m, employing some 300 people. Storage is in multi-temperature storage warehouses handling 500 pallet movements a day, using its fleet of 62 tractor units and 120 temperature controlled trailers.
Our group was then taken around the vast storage warehouses. One we visited was held at a temperature of -22 degrees centigrade with a blast freezing department running at -38 degrees centigrade not a good place to hang around!. When we then entered a storage warehouse full of Kellogg cereal products, with a temperature of 12 degrees centigrade, it felt quite tropical.
The size of this operation is very hard to describe, with 1,000's and 1,000's of tons of cheese, butter, dried milk, chicken, bread and numerous other food products.
This was an extremely interesting place to visit, and gave us all a much deeper understand and appreciation of just what does happen within the vast warehouse units we all pass on a regular basis without giving them a second thought.
The evening was rounded off with an excellent buffet at the Lord Combermere in Audlem where we were well looked after by Jo and Allan ( and it was Jo's Birthday we understand – Happy birthday !)