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Major Restructuring at Produce World Group

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Major Restructuring at Produce World Group

Major Restructuring at Produce World Group
February 26
15:56 2015

The Produce World Group, the UK’s leading grower and supplier of fresh organic vegetables, has announced plans for restructuring which will consolidate the company’s recent growth and prepare it to face the challenges of an increasingly competitive market-place. The company intends forming a joint venture growing, harvesting, packing and marketing brassicas with LFP (Lincolnshire Field Products) based at Wykeham just outside Spalding. Once formed the joint venture would be responsible for all growing and harvesting, and all processing and packing would take place at Wykeham.

As a result, the Produce World Group has proposed the closure of its site at Butterwick. Consultations have commenced with colleagues and their representatives at Butterwick. It is anticipated that, while there would be job losses at Butterwick, around 60 new jobs would be created at Wykeham.

Produce World has also announced that it proposes closing its factory at Swinderby and moving all processing and packing of conventionally grown root vegetables to its site at Isleham. Additional processing and storage facilities are being built at the Isleham site to cope with the additional tonnage, and a number of new jobs will be created.

The company has entered into consultation with colleagues and their representatives at the Swinderby site.

Produce World Group executive chairman Neil Fraser says: “At Produce World we are growing our business and developing a structure which will enable us to meet the current and future challenges in the industry. We are operating in a low margin business and more consolidation across the industry is inevitable. At the same time our customers are experiencing a period of unprecedented competition and changing consumer shopping habits.”

He continues: “We have acted to ensure we can meet these challenges and make the Produce World Group sustainable for the future. We are committed to the long-term for the business and for fresh vegetable growing in Lincolnshire and across East Anglia. Our roots business at Isleham already operates successfully as a Joint Venture with Tompsett Burgess Growers and this is the model we plan to use with LFP.”

The joint venture with LFP will mean that the overall Produce World Group will have a turnover of around £250 million, and will be the biggest grower and supplier of fresh vegetables in the UK. Around £10 million will be invested across the Wykeham and Isleham sites.

Farming remains at the heart of the Produce World Group. It grows its own potatoes and onions, as well as having partnerships with its key growers including LFP, Tompsett Burgess Growers, Greenshoots, and Taylorgrown.

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