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Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010
Carmarthenshire ice cream firm scoops NHS contract
Renaldo Dallavalle, Maria Dallavalle, Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones and Giulio Dallavalle
The ice cream firm has been in business for 80 years

A family-run Carmarthenshire ice cream firm has won a two-year contract to supply NHS hospitals in Wales.

Frank's Ice Cream, based at Capel Hendre in Ammanford, will make more than a million small tubs of strawberry and vanilla ice cream a year.

Giulio Dallavalle, who runs the firm with brother Renaldo, said they have a special ice cream to win the contract.

The award-winning firm's 20 employees are now working round-the clock, seven days a week.

Mr Dallevalle said the beauty of the contract to supply hospitals in Wales was that it "de-seasonalises" the ice cream market, and that they were working non-stop, partly to meet the demand.

"This is a substantial contract for us and we're delighted with the outcome," he said.

Gold award

"We developed a distinct recipe and a specific product in order to meet the nutritional and dietary requirements of the NHS."

The contract for the firm which last year won the Ice Cream Alliance's best in the UK prize has been awarded by Welsh Health Supplies (WHS), a service provider to the National Health Service in Wales

Keir Warner, WHS' commodity manager, said they had identified the need for an ice cream contract to cover hospitals' requirements in 2008.

"WHS worked closely with dieticians to ensure that the appropriate nutritional standards were achieved."

He said the firm's purpose-built factory holds a gold award from the Food Standards Agency.

Production line

Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones, who recently visited the company at Capel Hendre, said it was encouraging to see the NHS use local suppliers.

"The local sourcing of food and drink is one of our priorities because we not only minimise the energy used in food production, transport and storage but we are also securing a sustainable future for our farming and food industries."

The firm also supplies major UK supermarket chains.

Mr Dallavalle said a £140,000 grant from the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development had helped them put in a new production line "which has really helped in developing the product into what it is today".


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