Yorkshire-based glasshouse grower John Baarda announces plans to market its produce with Dutch-owned The Greenery

John Baarda, one of the country's largest tomato growers, has reached an "in principle" agreement with the fresh produce marketer The Greenery UK.

The move will see the Yorkshire-based Baarda marketing its produce with Huntingdon-based Greenery UK, which also markets several other UK-grown tomatoes including those grown by British Sugar's Cornerways Nursery.

The Greenery UK is a subsidiary of The Greenery (BV), which is owned by more than 1,000 Dutch growers through a cooperative.

It said in a statement that the agreement has been reached with the support of John Baarda's bank HSBC, which will be providing finance and participating in the refinancing of the company, subject to final agreement.

John Baarda is one of Britain's pioneering glasshouse growers — growing tomatoes all year round after investing some five years ago in a cutting-edge, £14m, facility, which sees the company heat its glasshouses from a fertiliser company's by-products — steam and carbon dioxide. 

David Baarda said: "This development [with The Greenery] will allow us to focus on growing and the further development of the nursery at Billingham. It is now about creating a model that would allow the asset to grow towards the original vision.

 "Entering into a partnership with a strong industry player like The Greenery is very exciting for the future of our business."

Managing director of The Greenery UK Kevin Doran said: "We are delighted to have one of Britain's pre-eminent producers join The Greenery group of growers. Needless to say, it is a very good strategic fit for our business."

 A final agreement is expected to be made by the end of this month.


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