2020 has been a defining year for Aussie food service and suppliers - there’s never been one quite like it before. Behind the scenes of our awesome Aussie food venues are the networks and suppliers who’ve worked together to ensure safe, consistent supply of produce, even during times of scarcity.
Introducing MD Provodores
Today, we want to shine the light on MD Provodores - one of FoodByUs’ 6 expert fruit and vegetable provodores. Operating for almost two decades, MD Provodores is a Sydney-based fruit and vegetable supplier servicing restaurants, hotels, clubs, pubs and cafes 6 days a week.
A FoodByUs’ veteran supplier operating on the network since early 2018, MD Provodores in Sydney is HACCP certified and has over 900 products available on their FoodByUs store including A-Grade, specialty produce sourced from farms across the country, from NSW to QLD to WA.
In addition to their close relationship working alongside local Australian growers, MD Provodores credits their technology-driven business approach as what sets them apart amongst the hundreds of other fruit and vegetables suppliers servicing Sydney.
Quick turnarounds meaning higher quality, longer shelf life
No produce is in the MDs warehouse for more than 24 hours. Not only does this guarantee fresher, tastier produce, but these insanely quick turnarounds mean a shorter distribution channel and longer lasting supply - all of which can impact a venue’s costs, menu and bottom line.
It’s one less worry to consider knowing that food can be stored for longer, despite the varying shelf life between different types of fruit and vegetables, before it turns into waste and it’s time to make another order.
Sliced and diced: time, waste, cost
Slice & Dice is a pre-cut fresh food delivery service established by MD Provodores in response to what they were hearing from their customers in the foodservice industry. Despite an increasing demand for processed, pre-diced food, the quality of the offerings of existing pre-prepared food businesses were low and lacked consistency. Slice & Dice have now established themselves as leaders of the industry and experts on seasonality, offering over 350 specifications and specialising in custom cuts, such as shredded carrot for banh mi, mixes and salads.
Slice & Dice saves chefs and kitchen staff time countless hours in prepping pre-prepared dishes. Consider this - your kitchen staff spends 2 hours per day washing, peeling, chopping or shredding produce, ready for the day’s menu. On food prep alone, that’s:
• 14 hours per day at a cost of approximately $154
• or 728 hours per year - a whopping $8,000 per year!
The startling fact is that over 40% of Aussie restaurant food is wasted - do you dare imagine the revenue loss on that? Add to that, the cost of waste disposal - with 60% of bins in Aussie cafes occupied by food waste. So, in addition to not having to spend labour on 'top and tail beans' or 'peeling,’ you save on the cost of disposal of the unwanted bits.
Slice & Dice deals with waste disposal sustainably and economically - a massive plus, particularly with the introduction of government targets to tackle the growing issue of food waste in Australia.
Facilities and tech
Built for scale with over 400 orders going out per day, MD’s processes allow them to quickly adapt and cater for consumer demands and needs, as well as environmental changes. The right processes also mean that MDs are set up to ensure orders are packaged in a safe and compliant environment, delivered on time, as specified, at great quality.
“We’re the market leaders in tech. We’ve built systems that work for us, by going in the way of technology to become more streamlined which saves a lot of errors.”
Safety standards and quality control
From the growing popularity of Google and Facebook reviews, to the power of media and reporting - word of mouth and reputation has never been so powerful. It’s paramount to ensure you’re partnering with the very best suppliers. Don’t end up on this unfortunate name and shame list from NSW Food Authority!
MD Provodores is proud of their A Grade rating from the NSW Food Authority and attributes their consistent record of success to technology. They have a range of control measures to avoid any potential hazards from happening, and logs and documents all activity that goes on in their processing facility on their online database. This includes every time a product sanitised, batch tested and so on.
Understandably, when it comes to the food processing industry in Australia, certifications are very strict, although the exact rules and regulations depend on state.
What does it take to be HACCP certified?
“We work to the highest level of Food Safety compliance holding both HACCP accreditation & NSW Food Authority Licenses for fruit and vegetable processing. We are continually evolving to stay on the cutting edge of food safety and go well beyond the minimum requirements”, MDs tell us.
MD Provodores are licensed for plant processing by the NSW Food Authority, another requirement for businesses preparing or storing any plant products, including fresh cut, raw fruit and vegetables. This license requires a food safety program which includes a hazard analysis of the processing facility and a preemptive program in preparation of any circumstance that may go wrong, including allergen related hazards and bacteria control to prevent foodborne illnesses such as salmonella.
When talking about COVID-safe procedures, MDs say “It’s something very new to the industry, it was only implemented in the past couple of weeks. “There are people who shortcut the process because it requires people to learn a new skill set, or employ someone with the skills, but it’s a very important process to make sure you can manage all these processes.”
What is HACCP?
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) is an internationally recognised system for reducing the risk of safety hazards in foods by identifying and controlling potential hazards.
What is the HACCP certification process like?
The process of becoming a HACCP certified business is a difficult one, due to the depth of knowledge required and the critical importance of being accurate and specific as possible when creating a HACCP plan.
Becoming HACCP certified requires taking courses covering all areas of food safety and hygiene including:
Benefits of choosing a specialist supplier such as MD provodores
The criteria for a good supplier should go beyond the quality and price of their offerings.
To ensure you’re getting fresh high produce that will have a longer shelf life, ask:
• How quick are their turnarounds?
To avoid unexpected stock shortages, check:
• Are their facilities able to cater for fluctuating demands and environmental changes?
To make sure your orders are packaged in a safe and compliant environment, ask:
• What safety control measures do they have in place?
• What certifications do they hold? Are they HACCP certified?
The product you buy can have a massive impact on your menu - from the dishes you create to the prices you charge. Partnering with a supplier that you can rely on and trust, and who can keep you informed on supply and demand, and market trends will make a world of difference to your revenue.