Apple merchants Fruit Direct and A Salvatori & Son merge to better match industry changes

Two of the UK's largest apple merchants, Suffolk-based Fruit Direct and Kent-based A Salvatori & Son, have merged their fruit-trading businesses to form a new company, FDL Fruit Trading.

The new company is due to start trading on 1 September and will be based in Preston, near Canterbury, Kent.

Its directors -- David Tobin, Mark Grinstead, Chris Jones and Daniel Salvatori -- hope the merger will better serve the changing top fruit industry.

Mark Grinstead told Grower: "We now find that growing units have declined in number but increased in size and packhouses have mirrored this trend."

"This leaves a large percentage of the industry in the hands of fewer growers/packers. The requirements of the end customer are also rapidly evolving.

"The formation of FDL Fruit Trading will accommodate these changes while providing efficiencies to ultimately benefit growers and customers alike."

All the remaining divisions within both A Salvatori & Son and Fruit Direct -- namely storage facilities, transport and distribution, bin sales and grower orchard agreements -- are continuing to exist within the respective companies.

For more on the merger see next week's Grower.

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