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Joint venture between Sutter Professional and Northwood Hygiene: further news
Cleanzine met with John Cornish, Northwood Hygiene Products' Nigel Mynott and Sutter Professional's Aldo Sutter to get the background to the venture and find out what it would mean for the companies' customers.
A fifth generation family business in operation since 1858, Italian manufacturer and multi-award-winning Sutter Professional sells more than 300 professional cleaning products through a vast network of distributors in more than 60 countries.
It operates through its subsidiaries in Spain, Portugal, France, Argentina, Chile and Brazil and in other countries through agreements with local distributors. Its products are aimed at professional users in hotels, restaurants, canteens, offices, schools, supermarkets, hospitals and laundries and at the contract cleaning industry in general.
Aldo explained why the company had chosen to go into partnership with Northwood to supply Sutter chemicals in the UK and Ireland rather than opening a subsidiary.
"We wanted direct representation and it was crucial that we worked with a partner that understood our needs and those of our customers, and which had the human resources and logistics already in place," he said. "It was also important that our partner had a non-competing portfolio of quality products and a reputation for great service.
"We needed the best."
It soon became clear that Northwood - effectively a group of associated companies that provides the manufacturing, supply and transportation of away-from-home professional paper hygiene products, was the ideal choice, and once the initial approach had been made things moved on very quickly.
"The market in the UK and Ireland is highly discerning and demanding," said Nigel. "Our customers have come to expect the best from us and are going to love the new chemicals we'll be marketing."
Brightwell will be supplying own brand dispensers for the super-concentrates and these will include the EcoShot and EcoMix ranges, which will accurately dispense the products into trigger spray bottles, buckets and sinks.
"Sutter picked the EcoRange of dosing systems from Brightwell after a lengthy selection process and testing against other competitor equipment which confirmed the quality and accuracy of the product, as well as its robustness," said John Cornish. "Brightwell has had an increasingly important role as a key strategic equipment supplier to Sutter for the last 10 years and is committed to design and innovation in the key area of super-concentrates."
Talking me through the Sutter products, Aldo said that the company is moving towards the manufacture of liquid concentrates as these are more ecologically friendly. He said he was proud of the company's adherence to the AISE charter, a scheme it joined in 2007 without sacrificing product performance.
"Our philosophy is making the type of progress that blends product performance with respect for people and the environment," he said.
"That's why we follow the strict guidelines established by the A.I.S.E. Charter, throughout the entire life cycle analysis (from selection of raw materials to product disposal).
Over the past few years, for every 1000Kg of detergent supplied, we have reduced the use of plastic by 20%, paper by 18%, water by 22% and steel by 27% and we're continuing to improve on those figures while improving the products themselves. We'll keep on investing in innovation.
"These are premium products and they'll be supplied in premium packaging, via a service that we believe will be second to none."
Nigel echoed these sentiments, adding that Northwood had a reputation for providing excellent back-up and training in the use of the products themselves. One Sutter innovation that he sees doing very well in the UK market is the supply of the concentrate in a water-soluble packaging, which will make dosing simple and eliminate the need for users to come into physical contact with the concentrate.
The Zero plant-based 'natural force' range, (pictured) is likely to be another winner.
In case you're unfamiliar with the privately owned Northwood Group, it also has a rich history, beginning its journey in 1976 when Paul Fecher established Northwood Paper Sales, whose primary activity was and continues to be the global sourcing of paper grades for the paper converting industry.
Over the next 30 years the business grew to become the UK's largest independent paper agent and supplier of various paper grades to the UK paper converters.
In 2008 the opportunity to acquire Kruger Tissue's UK operations arose; this included a recycled tissue mill and an away-from-home converting plant and following the purchase the companies were renamed Disley Tissue and Connect Hygiene Products.
Over the course of the following years, more pieces of the Northwood manufacturing jigsaw came together. Waste reclamation specialist Ashley Recycling was acquired in 2011 - guaranteeing a supply of high quality recycled waste paper for the mill facility. In early 2012 the mill and converting plant of Peter Grant Papers was also acquired and a new logistics company formed as the final part of a fully integrated supply chain solution for the away-from-home paper sector.
The offering was further complemented with the JV acquisition of the former Georgia Pacific paper mill in Bridgend where consumer tissue products are manufactured in a fully integrated tissue mill and converting plant.
With Northwood Recycling, a waste paper reclamation company providing Northwood Tissue at Disley and Lancaster with recycled waste paper, the mills have a reliable supply of materials to allow the manufacturing of paper reels for conversion.
The mother reels are then transported to two Northwood Hygiene converting facilities by Northwood Logistics' fleet of articulated vehicles. The paper is then converted before being distributed across the country. The complete Northwood supply chain ensures that customers receive quality, responsibly sourced products, delivered both efficiently and reliably.
Customers will soon be able to look forward to receiving Sutter's premium range of chemicals in the same efficient and reliable way.
28th May 2015