An exciting new partnership between two leading companies in the world of agricultural refrigeration looks set to shake up the industry.

The partnership will bring together the decades of experience behind Freshcold, the company set up by refrigeration expert John Haffenden, and the multi-faceted skills on offer within Tudor Multi Services.

While not a formal merger, the coming together of the two businesses will strengthen Freshcold’s offering and allow the company to deliver a complete package to growers, dairy farmers and others looking for specialist support.

“We want to grow the business but we want to do that steadily and with a focus on good customer service,” said John. “Working closely with James Tumber and his team at Tudor Multi Services seemed like a great way to do that.

“James has a range of complementary skills that support the controlled atmosphere and air conditioning expertise we have here at Freshcold and together we will be able to offer the complete package.

“We believe that by sharing resources and expertise we can revolutionise Freshcold’s offer to the south east’s fruit growers.”

Top fruit growers across the south east will remember the expertise displayed by John and service manager Alan Leeson from the days when Farm Refrigeration was a leading player in the controlled atmosphere market.

Bad debts well outside their control crippled what was otherwise a thriving business, but the pair bounced back with Freshcold, which continues John’s obsession with environmentally friendly, cost-efficient technology and state-of-the-art innovation.

With 43 years’ experience – slightly less than Alan’s 50 years – John doesn’t just sell controlled atmosphere technology but lives it. His understanding of the technology allows him to deliver the best possible solution to any problem, and he continues to develop new ways of improving the equipment he installs.

His most recent innovation, an eco-friendly chiller defrost system that saves energy and money, came from his own research and is a unique approach that has been well received.

“There is a difference between selling and installing a refrigeration system and understanding how it works, what it does and how you can make it do the job more efficiently,” John explained.

“If you understand the technology behind the process you can talk to the farmer about his or her particular circumstances and make sure you specify the right system for their needs and deliver the most cost-effective solution, something that is increasingly important these days.”

The defrost system stores the heat created by the cooling process and then uses it to defrost the chillers when they need it. “It’s completely free heat and this system puts it to good use and saves money,” explained John.

It is the ability to innovate and create a bespoke system – not to mention occasionally inventing a new piece of kit – that John believes sets Freshcold apart from refrigeration companies that simply install a package ‘off the shelf’.

Freshcold was the phoenix that rose from the ashes in 2009 and quickly established a reputation for itself in both the commercial refrigeration and air conditioning sectors, with John personally recognised as being one of the UK’s leading experts in the field of top fruit controlled atmosphere storage.

“The company has been growing year on year and I believe there is considerable scope for further expansion. What I felt Freshcold needed at this stage in its development was a broader offering and extra resources, which is where James came into the picture.”

James used to work for Farm Refrigeration and gained much of his knowledge while working alongside John and Alan. “When we started talking about the potential for a company with a new approach to fruit store refrigeration in the South East I knew that James was someone I could work with,” John commented.

“This is a strategic link up that will give customers a broader range of services and a complete package when it comes to refrigeration. Essentially we can now deliver a cold store from the ground up.”

While Tudor Multi Services specialises in specialist doors, dock levellers and insulated panels, the company has broad experience in all aspects of cold store design and build, from ground works to fitting out.

The company offers a full range of mechanical and electrical services as well as deep cleaning, and has an impressive client base that includes Mack, IPS and Primafruit.

“Between us we have worked for many of the leading fruit businesses in various guises and we have a great reputation for delivering top quality cold stores that marry cost-effective technology with competitive pricing,” John added.

Freshcold’s reputation has also grown overseas, with Freshcold International now well established as an air conditioning specialist in the Caribbean. The company also provides commercial refrigeration and air conditioning as well as specialising in air source heat pump technology.

While top fruit and soft fruit growers will already be aware of John’s expertise, Freshcold also provides bulk milk tanks for dairy farmers and works with meat processing companies to provide abattoir refrigeration.

While the leading players in the company have nearly 100 years’ experience between them, the third member of the team, Stacey Stockman, is a comparative newcomer to the industry but brings his own skills to the mix.

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