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Singapore food conglomerate opens $70m production and logistics site: Video

By Gary Scattergood+

11-Jan-2017
Last updated on 11-Jan-2017 at 09:30 GMT2017-01-11T09:30:01Z

Andrew Kwan (left) and Deputy PM Tharman Shanmugaratnam viewing the HPP equipment. ©Commonwealth Capital

Andrew Kwan (left) and Deputy PM Tharman Shanmugaratnam viewing the HPP equipment. ©Commonwealth Capital

Singapore food and drink holding company Commonwealth Capital has opened a new $70m production and logistics base in the City State.

The facility, officially opened today by Singapore’s deputy PM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, pools together its sprawling food operations under one roof – including meat processor Zac Foods, bakers NYC Bagel Company and Swissbake, along with popular f&b outlets such as PastaMania and The Soup Spoon.

In addition to its own brands, the company also undertakes a raft of b2b work across the region for manufacturers and food service providers.

The new site is the culmination of the firm’s three-year transformation plan and features a 100% Halal-certified manufacturing plant and cold chain facility.

It also boasts “first of its kind” – for Singapore – high pressure processing (HPP) equipment to increase the shelf life and guarantee the safety of packaged goods.

Meanwhile, proprietary MicroThermik technology enables cooked foods to be kept at ambient temperatures for up to 12 months.

Commonwealth Capital group managing director Andrew Kwan said this would enable its companies to produce more healthy foods, and clean label products, containing less sugar, salt and preservatives.

In terms of its bakery operations, increased automation and the consolidation of operations at the Buroh Lane base has resulted in a frozen pastry line that can churn out 15,000 pastries and buns an hour with just four staff, compared to 11 previously.

“The new facility bears out our vision of creating an integrated and inclusive food solutions group, providing a combined platform to our customers and our own portfolio of brands to enjoy economies of scale and wider networks to venture internationally,” he said.

He added the firm’s brands were now present in 12 Asian countries and earmarked the Middle East as a key expansion priority.

And with the Singapore government focusing on a much-heralded ‘war on diabetes’, Kwan said creating healthy products would be a focus.

“The group is embracing future food trends in its plans, with a focus on offering consumers healthier choices, ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook convenience, as well as piece of mind with advanced food manufacturing methodology and standards,” he said.

On the warehousing and logistics front, a new automated storage and retrieval system in a -28 degree setting can house 56,000 pallets across 14,000 sq ft.

The system can ship out 244 pallets, the equivalent of 200 tonnes, per hour.

Deputy PM Shanmugaratnam said Commonwealth Capital’s strategy of  investing in a number of local brands, and providing them with state-of-the-art shared facilities, showed how smaller Singaporean manufacturers could collaborate to access new technology while retaining their diversity.

- Check out the video above to hear the Deputy PM's views on the challenges faced by food manufacturers in Singapore, plus why Kwan thinks the new site will take Commonwealth Capital’s firms to the next level.

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