Industry Preview 2010: Edibles -- Growers told marketing is key to success

For many fruit growers across the UK, 2009 turned out to be a successful year, with good harvests leading to record profits.

Soft fruit growers enjoyed a particularly good year, although farm business consultant Andersons has warned all fruit growers to recognise that this recent success was "only one step in continuing to adapt to a business environment where wage inflation and regulation add to operating costs".

Consultant John Pelham commented: "Good business management and produce marketing will continue to be vital to the success of producers throughout this sector."

Robert Pascall, a soft and top fruit grower and member of the NFU Board for Horticulture, agreed that good marketing will be vital to growers' continuing success.

"We are subject to very strong customers who are fairly determined to give their own customers the best deal they can," Pascall warned. "So unless we are strong enough to withstand our position we will be exploited."

However, he added: "I do not see that it's necessarily going to be much easier this year, but hopefully our marketing agencies will be strong enough to ensure that we get a fair deal."

Andersons predicted that the vegetable sector is in for another tough year, with continued "supply chain pressure" resulting in a reduction in the number of growers.

Phillip Effingham, chairman of the Brassica Growers Association, agreed that the market "is going to remain very tough".

He explained: "Margins will continue to be compromised and our focus on making a profit will be reducing costs — by automations, fine-tuning our field operations and negotiating better costs."

 

Subscribe to Horticulture Week for more news, more in-depth features and more technical and market info.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

At a debate during last week's Fruit Focus trade show in Kent, senior industry figures painted a bleak picture of an increasingly difficult seasonal labour market that is already impacting on investment.

What will post-Brexit pesticides authorisation and capital support for fresh produce look like?

What will post-Brexit pesticides authorisation and capital support for fresh produce look like?

The likely impact on seasonal labour has dominated discussions of the consequences of withdrawal from the EU for UK production horticulture.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon