Culina Logistics wins Danone yoghurt distribution deal

Danone was hit by supply problems at Arla Hatfield depot

Danone has appointed Culina Logistics to take on some of its UK warehousing and distribution in the wake of a major supply issue that left retailers short of Danone yoghurts, The Grocer can reveal.

The deal - believed to be a multimillion pound contract - marks the first time Danone and Culina have done business in several years.

Danone’s UK warehousing and distribution for yoghurt - including the Activia and Actimel brands - was previously run by Arla exclusively.

However, in June, retailers were left short of Danone yoghurts after Arla transferred storage to a new distribution hub at its Hatfield Business Park site in Hertfordshire.

Arla blamed the problems on the opening of the new facility together with “a systems interface issue, which affected notification of product intake from Danone”.

And it was forced to ration supply of Danone products so all retailers received a percentage of their order, prompting some supermarkets to put up notices in stores informing shoppers of the supply disruption.

Arla then put a contingency plan in place including the transfer of “experienced operational staff” from other Arla sites.

Danone, Arla and Culina did not comment on the changes. However, while Culina has taken on some of the Danone warehousing and distribution business, Arla remains a substantial provider of warehousing and distribution to Danone UK, and is described as one of several dedicated logistics partners around the world.

Culina set up business in the UK in 1994 to service Müller, and has since expanded its customer base to include other brands.

It is in the process of setting up a new ambient and chilled RDC near Bristol, to serve South West England and South Wales.