PROVEN reliability and durability over a demanding working life led wholesaler Castell Howell Foods back to the Mercedes-Benz Atego range for the latest additions to its temperature-controlled fleet.
The Cross Hands-based company has taken delivery of 16 new Atego 12-tonners from South Wales Dealer Euro Commercials. All are 1224 LnR models with low-frame chassis, and S- ClassicSpace day cabs. Their 7.7-litre six-cylinder engines produce 175 kW (238 hp), and drive through Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions.
Castell Howell Foods’ fleet of more than 100 trucks and vans is dominated by mid-sized rigids, the majority of which wear three-pointed stars. Fitted with dual-compartment insulated bodies by Gray & Adams, and Frigoblock refrigeration units, the latest arrivals carry both chilled and frozen product.
“We’ve been running Atego rigids in a variety of sizes for 15 years or more,” said Martin Jones, the company’s Director of Transport Operations. “They’ve been an integral part of our ongoing success story, proving in service to be exceptionally tough and reliable, as well as highly competitive in terms of whole-life operating costs.
“With each model revision the level of refinement and driver appeal has gone up. The latest versions are as well engineered as ever, and drive very smoothly, while smart touches like LED daytime running lights mean they really look the part too.”
The new trucks are being used primarily on distribution routes into rural West Wales. Their lower frames allow for a reduced overall height, to minimise the risk of damage from overhanging trees, but the trucks retain a load volume comparable to a standard vehicle.
Urban deliveries are typically assigned to 15-tonne Atego rigids, while the flagships of the fleet are a pair of 375 kW (510 hp) Actros GigaSpace tractor units, which trunk between Cross Hands and satellite depots in Avonmouth, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Chirk, near Wrexham, and Merthyr Tydfil, as well as a cash and carry in Carmarthen.
Mr Jones continued: “This latest acquisition further cements our already excellent relationship with Euro Commercials. Sales Executive Steve Bastin knows our business very well and understands what we need – he always handles our orders efficiently and keeps us fully informed. We have also forged a strong working relationship with the Parts and Service teams at the Dealer’s Swansea branch.”
Castell Howell Foods celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. The company serves customers throughout Wales, the Welsh borders and the West Country, and prides itself on promoting and supplying premium quality regional produce. It stocks over 10,000 catering products and is best-known for its Celtic Pride Premium Beef Partnership, a supply chain initiative launched in 2003 which now has more than 80 farmer members, all of whom follow strict husbandry and management rules. Most recently it has launched Celtic Coast Fish Co., a specialist division which provides fresh fish and seafood from around the coast of the UK.
Beacon Bursary £5,000 winner named as 18-year-old Cameron Reardon
THE WINNER of this year’s Beacon Bursary entrepreneurship competition goes to an 18-year-old who has set up an online entomology business, selling bugs and other creepy crawlies.
Cameron Reardon will receive a cash prize of £5,000, free office space for a year within the Beacon Centre for Enterprise in Dafen, Llanelli, and business mentoring support to help develop his business Bug Box UK.
The 18-year-old from Felinfoel has just completed his BTEC Level 3 in Public Services in Coleg Sir Gâr and will be studying Business Management with Marketing at Swansea University from September.
“With the money I’m going to buy a shed,” said Cameron. “At the moment my stock is in my bedroom, which my mum doesn’t like! Now I’m going to be able to increase my stock and the money will also help me go to different shows to sell.”
Cameron was a finalist in last year’s competition, and said the mentoring which comes with the prize would also be very beneficial. He added: “Last year I received some mentoring and that was amazing. It’s really opened my eyes.”
Cameron was one of five entrepreneurs to reach this year’s final and get the chance to pitch their proposals to a panel of judges including Carmarthenshire Council Leader Emlyn Dole; Chris Jenkins from Gerald Thomas Accountancy; Angharad Harding from Yr Egin and the winner of last year’s competition, Amanda Thomas from Biscuit Barkery.
All five entrepreneurs who made it through to present their business ideas at this year’s final in the Beacon Centre, were students from Coleg Sir Gâr.
Second place and receiving £2,000 and six months free office space at the Beacon, went to Dante Diana and his alcohol beverage business Oddball Moonshine.
Third place and receiving £1,000 and six months free office space at the Beacon for one year, went to Imogen Mills and her swatch fabric design business Cloth.
The other finalists were Simon Thomas with his business Particip8 and Charlotte Voaden of Charlotte Voaden Design.
The Beacon Bursary is an annual competition run by Carmarthenshire County Council in partnership with Coleg Sir Gâr and University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Council Leader Emlyn Dole, who is responsible for Economic Development, said: “I look forward to this competition every year. SME’s are the backbone of our businesses here in Carmarthenshire and to see the entrepreneurs come to this competition with such passion and turn those ideas into a business is a pleasure.
“This year’s standard of entries was high once again, but as judges we were unanimous that Bug Box UK is a great business idea and a worthy winner. I would like to wish Cameron, and indeed all the finalists, the best of luck in the future with their businesses.”
Amanda Daniels, Coleg Sir Gâr assistant principal said: “The development of effective Enterprise and Employability skills with learners in post compulsory education and training is so important to ensure a vibrant and successful Welsh economy.
“The Beacon Bursary has helped a number of Individuals start-up successful businesses over the last seven years.
“This year I am absolutely delighted that all three of the successful Bursary winners are Coleg Sir Gâr learners, their passion and drive to succeed is infectious and I am confident that their businesses will contribute positively to the Carmarthenshire economy.”
Roger Maidment, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Management at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) said: “UWTSD would like to congratulate Cameron Reardon on winning this year’s Beacon Bursary. UWTSD is delighted to collaborate on the Beacon Bursary which is aimed at encouraging future entrepreneurs within Carmarthenshire. As a dual sector University, our mission is ‘Transforming Education, Transforming Lives’, developing employment focused educational programmes and contributing to our vision of transforming, shaping and developing futures by stimulating economic development in the region and across Wales and beyond. Working in collaboration on initiatives such as the Beacon Bursary Award is central to achieving this as it offers students the opportunity to demonstrate their creative and entrepreneurial skills and develop real business ideas which have the potential to contribute to the economy of the region. We wish Cameron the best of luck with his business and look forward to seeing the development of Bug Box UK.”
Scheme protects consumers against rogue traders
A NEW scheme has been launched in Carmarthenshire to protect consumers from rogue traders.
Buy With Confidence is an approved trader scheme which has been set up to wipe out dishonest businesses and assist householders to find reputable local business.
It is run by Carmarthenshire’s trading standards team and replaces the former Registered Traders Scheme.
Buy With Confidence also provides businesses with recognition of good practice and consumers with confidence with whom they are dealing.
All the businesses listed on the website have been vetted and approved by Trading Standards.
The council’s executive board member for public protection, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “To be approved onto the scheme traders have to go through a stringent vetting process which gives consumers peace of mind that traders operate in a legal, honest and fair way. I hope as many traders and local businesses sign up to this scheme to reassure people that they are the best trader for the job.”
For further info call 01554 742306.
What makes Wales special?
THIS MONTH sees Visit Wales’ first ever targeted digital campaign happening in Wales. It will encourage those with arguably the best knowledge of all, the people of Wales, to share images of the places that they love and how they enjoy them.
There is also an opportunity to be featured in Visit Wales’ ads, as a selection of the best images shared on social media will be part of the next phase of the campaign.
The Year of Discovery is the perfect time to re-discover places from childhood, or discover a new corner of Wales.
Visit Wales would like as many people as possible to get involved. What makes Wales so special? Where do you like to spend your weekends in Wales? Where’s your favourite beach, pub or dog walk? These special moments in Wales can be captured by tagging #thisismywales on your Instagram or Pinterest posts.
The in-Wales market is especially important to Wales. In 2017 there were 1.47m overnight stays by Welsh residents staying in Wales. That is 16% of all overnight trips taken in Wales by GB residents, and these trips generated £228 million for the Welsh economy.
In addition, there were 62 million tourism day visits taken in Wales by Welsh residents. This is 63% of all day trips taken in Wales. The expenditure on these trips was £2.21 billion.
Dafydd Elis Thomas, the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “This is an excellent time for the people of Wales to share what makes Wales special to them – it’s all about pride and passion and the people of Wales are often the best ambassadors and travel guides to what can be found locally.
“It’s possible that Brexit uncertainty means that more people will take a staycation this year. A targeted and flexible digital marketing campaign means that Wales is well placed to make the most of these opportunities.
“Marketing work has been gathering momentum since early March in key markets in recognition of the strong competition for the domestic market – so that Wales is front of mind as a holiday destination during our Year of Discovery.
“As part of a refreshed visitwales.com, celebrities such as Alex Jones, Matthew Rhys and Huw Stephens have already shared their favourite things about Wales.”
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