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Packing and Storage Complex

A massive £8.6 million expansion was completed in 2009, resulting in a brand new packing facility, 6,500 tonnes of additional storage, as well as a 6 bay chilled despatch area. The whole of the ground floor, covers 10,000 square metres (one hectare), dedicated to the latest top fruit grading/packing technology and chill despatch facilities, coupled with a second floor containing packaging storage and administration offices.
This complex is one of the biggest on-farm facilities of its kind in the UK, and is anticipated to grade over 90,000 bins of top fruit this season.

The investment is designed to keep Mansfields, which already grows about 11% and packs about 18% of the top fruit sold in UK, at the cutting edge of the industry.

Due to this development, Paul Mansfield has boosted the local top fruit industry in helping smaller growers retain their viability. This can be seen in the fact that over 6,000 tonnes of 3rd party fruit has been stored during this domestic season, with even more being graded.

The entire development has been created with efficiency and environmental awareness in mind.

Storage

The new stores incorporate the latest storage technology, including state-of-the-art energy saving devices.

Building construction has been aimed at minimising energy wastage; for example, through the use of triple glazed ceiling hatches to conserve energy. All roofing panels are insulated, as opposed to taking the more traditional route, and underground insulation has also been incorporated. All stores have CA capability and, insulated to a higher standard than the trade's norm, having the capability of storing at sub-zero temperatures, enabling the successful long term storage of pears.

The refrigerant that has been used is Hycool®, which is a bio-degradable fluid, has been found to have no adverse effects on the ozone layer or other environmental areas. Using this refrigerant, combined with additional insulation in the floors, and ceilings, means these new stores save up to 50% in running costs compared to standard stores.

Other key elements of the new facilities are:

  • The design of the refrigeration plant has been engineered to achieve the rapid reduction of field heat from the incoming fruit.
  • Stores are monitored remotely, via a sophisticated internet based system
  • Removable door handles have been used, for added safety...
  • ...As have no-grease, pneumatic door seals
  • As a result of the expansion, Mansfields now has the capacity to store 35,000 tonnes of fruit, with 6,500 tonnes in the new facility

Packhouse

We have a variety of cutting edge grading and fruit packing facilities onsite. We have 5 graders at our Nickle site which brings our grading capacity to 20 tonnes per hour. Our 2 most recent graders were purchased from MAF in France and Greefa in Holland and are of only a handful in the UK. Combined with our portfolio of heat-sealing and flow-wrapping machinery, we are capable of packing Top Fruit, Stone Fruit and Soft Fruit for customers including the leading supermarkets.

To achieve this, Mansfields has invested significant sums in new machinery, including:

  • A water filtration plant that uses a carbon-based system to prolong the life of water used in the grading process. This saves up to 3 million litres of water each year and underlines the company's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.
  • Increased capacity in the chill despatch area has been incorporated into the new build, allowing six more vehicles to be serviced at the same time.
  • The whole system is designed in order to maintain the chill-chain and keep the fruit in optimum condition throughout the delivery process

The environment

A 50-hectare conservation area has been created that features wild flowers, bird boxes and British oaks; the latter of which are a long-lived species and can eventually grow up to 35 metres tall. They are a haven for wildlife, supporting more species of insect than any other British tree.

In addition to the technical excellence of this site, there is also a 22.5 million litre reservoir next to the new complex, which has been designed to collect rainwater from the roof and will be utilized for trickle irrigation.

Fresh produce and high levels of service are delivered in response to customer demand and Mansfields works in close partnership with its customers, giving them the opportunity to influence the development of the business. This provides customers with the reassurance that the company can meet both their current and future needs and requirements.

Mansfields has demonstrated its commitment to become the best top fruit, soft fruit and stone fruit supplier in the country by investing heavily in the business and with this latest investment in both plant and the environment Mansfields has shown an even greater determination to retain their pre-eminent position in the industry.