Nationwide Produce hailed for overseas success

Lancashire fresh produce business recognised in Sunday Times listing of fasting-growing international companies in UK.

A fresh produce business that began life as a family-run firm in Lancashire has been recognised as one of the fastest-growing international companies in the UK.

Nationwide Produce, which owns the East Anglia-based root crop grower group Richmond Farms and has six offices across the UK and some 600 customers worldwide, was featured at number 46 in the 2011 Sunday Times International Track 100 published earlier this month.

Group managing director Tim O'Malley said: "This is recognition of the fantastic growth we have achieved in international sales in the past two years that grew from less than £6m in 2008 to nearly £17m in 2010. This equates to an average increase per annum of 79 per cent.

"We adopted a strategy to develop our European business in sales and procurement, and that planning has really paid dividends."

The company was founded in 1975 by O'Malley's father Bernard and mother Joan, both from Lancashire farming families. It started life as Bernard O'Malley & Co from a small room in the family home in Southport.

Group director Patrick O'Malley added that that the opening of wholly-owned overseas branches helped increase sales.

"Our branches in Rotterdam and Almeria were originally set up solely to improve our procurement in these areas. However, having a wholly-owned presence in these markets led to us generating sales as well," he said.

"The establishment of the Belfast and Emmen branches has also been a major factor in driving overseas sales.

"When we opened our first overseas office in Rotterdam in 2004, international sales were £667,000. Last year they were £16.8m - a 25-fold increase in six years.

"Group turnover is also up from £31m in 2004 to £80m for this financial year."

NEW BUSINESS PLANNING FOR FURTHER OVERSEAS SALES GROWTH

Nationwide Produce is now looking to use its strong overseas performance as a springboard for further growth.

In particular, its next targets are the growing market in Russia, Sweden and the Caribbean.

Group director John Mann confirmed: "We plan to open an office in St Petersburg in due course.

"However, our next new office will be in Helsingborg, Sweden. This is the main entry port for fresh produce into Scandinavia, and should give us new opportunities to build our business there.

"We also recently made our first shipment of UK potatoes and onions to the Caribbean, and we hope to develop business in that part of the world."


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 will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

This spring, many top-fruit growers in the UK and across Europe were dismayed to discover that swathes of their orchards had been hit by frost.

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.