A top food wholesaler says it is “hugely proud” to have won a contract to help feed 11,000 Welsh hospital patients every day.

According to Harlech Foodservice, the three-year deal to supply the Welsh NHS with groceries, creating nine new jobs and providing continued stability for the rest of the 200-strong workforce.

The firm, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and has its headquarters in Criccieth, will be delivering 450 lines of dry store products like canned goods, pulses and rice to 120 locations across Wales, including general hospitals and community hospitals.

As well as its traditional customer base in the hospitality sector, Harlech Foodservice also supplies schools across the six counties of north Wales and into the North West to serve up nutritious meals for 150,000 pupils daily.

In addition, Harlech Foodservice is a major supplier to care homes across north and mid Wales and has seen significant growth in that sector too.

As a result, the company is on course for record sales this year.

Health, care and education director Mark Lawton said winning the new business from NHS Wales was a major vote of confidence.

He said: “It provides us with great stability throughout the year which is a big help in rebalancing our traditional core base of customers in hospitality who are by definition largely seasonal.

“It means we are part of the year-round foundational economy, providing essential goods and services and helping keep the Welsh pound in Wales, making it work hard to boost our nation’s prosperity – something that has been made possible by the enlightened procurement policies of NHS Wales.

“It certainly chimes with our ethos because wherever possible we also use Welsh companies for our support services, whether that’s for recycling, gardening or the electricians we use.

“Securing this contract will also help in terms of our logistics and delivery pattern pan-Wales and will help us minimise our carbon footprint. It’s about shortening the supply chain.

“It’s a real feather in Harlech Foodservice’s cap and we’re really honoured and hugely proud to be supporting the NHS which does such a brilliant job. It was born in Wales and is one of our proudest achievements as a nation.

“The fact that we have been chosen as a trusted supplier is a real badge of honour and shows that Harlech delivers the gold standard in terms of food distribution, that we are safe, secure and compliant enough to supply hospitals across Wales.

“It sends an excellent message to all our existing customers and prospective customers, giving them reassurance and peace of mind about the quality of our service.”

Head of operations Ian Evans said: “We see this as an important new contract for Harlech as it will create new jobs – four in north Wales and five in south Wales.

“We have taken on new lorries and some of the posts are driving posts so its an important part of our expansion and strengthens our presence throughout Wales.”