Fruit farmer contracts local Midlands manufacturer to supply key materials

A West Midlands metal manufacturing firm has successfully completed a £75,000 contract for Herefordshire soft fruit grower S&A Produce.

S&A gave the contract to the Quarry Bank-based Bird Stevens after making a conscious decision to start sourcing its products from the UK rather than abroad as they have done in the past.

The contract saw Bird Stevens manufacture more than 250,000 special metal clamps - used in the construction of some 50ha of polytunnels - together with 150 strawberry harvesting trolleys over a six-week period.

Bird Stevens managing director Steve Ruston said "We are delighted to have been awarded the contract from S & A Produce.

"It is wonderful that they decided to source their materials from a local business such as ourselves because this will provide the sort of boost the Midlands manufacturing industry needs at the moment. It also shows that when local businesses get together, they can help each other to succeed and generate local jobs."

The whole project was tightly coordinated so that Bird Stevens delivered the clamps "just in time" on a daily basis to site while the polytunnels were being built. The harvesting trolleys were delivered as the fruit started to ripen.

S&A Produce representative Jude Norcott said: "We are extremely grateful to Bird Stevens for meeting our requirements so promptly."

Ruston added: "We want to demonstrate how good-quality products can be manufactured in small or large volumes and in short delivery times right here in the UK."


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