The family-run Carmarthenshire ice cream maker won a multi-year contract to supply NHS hospitals in Wales.
The order saw Frank’s Ice Cream, based at Capel Hendre in Ammanford, which has been in business for over 80 years, produce more than a million small tubs of strawberry and vanilla ice cream a year.
Director, Giulio Dallavalle, who runs the firm with brother Renaldo, commented they have a special ice cream to win the contract.
Mr Dallevalle said the beauty of the contract to supply hospitals in Wales was that it “de-seasonalises” the ice cream market, and that they were working non-stop, partly to meet the new demand – indeed employees stepped up production working round-the clock, seven days a week!
“This is a substantial contract for us and we’re delighted with the outcome,” he said. “We developed a distinct recipe and a specific product in order to meet the nutritional and dietary requirements of the NHS.”
The contract was awarded by Welsh Health Supplies (WHS), a service provider to the National Health Service in Wales
Keir Warner, WHS’ commodity manager, said they had identified the need for an ice cream contract to cover hospitals’ requirements in 2008.
“WHS worked closely with dieticians to ensure that the appropriate nutritional standards were achieved.”
He said the firm’s purpose-built factory holds a gold award from the Food Standards Agency.
After the announcement, Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones, commented it was encouraging to see the NHS use local suppliers.
“The local sourcing of food and drink is one of our priorities because we not only minimise the energy used in food production, transport and storage but we are also securing a sustainable future for our farming and food industries.”
Mr Dallavalle said a £140,000 grant from the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development had helped them put in a new production line “which has really helped in developing the product into what it is today”.