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AKP Group Completes £3 Million Development

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AKP Group Completes £3 Million Development

AKP Group Completes £3 Million Development
August 24
11:08 2012

UK fresh produce company AKP Group has invested nearly £3 million into making northern Lincolnshire a central hub for the needs of some of the UK’s biggest potato sellers. Elsham Wold has just become the new headquarters for AKP Group, supplier to supermarket giant Morrisons and major chip manufacturer McCain.

A state-of-the-art office block, temperature controlled potato storage facility and grading line, together with extensions to existing handling areas have just been completed, with the 13-year-old firm headed by Richard Arundel moving the whole administration back into the area fromYork.

The former KP potato storage facility which has now been substantially developed, was acquired in 2007. The site now incorporates a 32,000sq ft storage facility and a 4,000 sq ft two storey office development.

“We have taken two years to get to this,” says Richard Arundel. “We got the grant funding for storage and grading operations in 2009, and built the storage throughout 2010, to be open for that harvest. We have had potatoes in from 2010 and 2011, and the whole project has been finished with the offices just now.”

He adds: “Our desire is to have more quality potato producers local to this site. It would cut down on transport costs. There is still a lot of potential, it will help the environmental footprint and this part of the world has the ability to grow some of the best potatoes in the country, that is what we are majoring on.”

A total of 44 people are now employed, handling 120,000 tonnes of potatoes a year. Recently 15 employees were added, with three graduate trainees also part of the company, specialising in growing, logistics and technical elements, including agronomy. The remaining investment has seen a fleet of six Mercedes rigs brought in to deliver the potatoes to customers, with the primary route Morrisons’ packing operations near Harrogate.

“The new facility will not only enable us to meet the demand of our biggest customers, but we’ve also successfully improved the quality and freshness of our potatoes by reducing transportation, handling and using the latest cold store technologies,” says Richard Arundel.

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