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

What does the 25-year plan mean for growers?

What does the 25-year plan mean for growers?

Published on 11 January, the Government's long-awaited 'A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment' brings together a number of policy strands into a single framework that will impact many sectors, not least fresh produce, over the coming decades.

What will 'embracing change' mean for horticulture?

What will 'embracing change' mean for horticulture?

At the Oxford Farming Conference, whose theme was "embracing change", Defra secretary Michael Gove expanded on what a post-Brexit UK agriculture and land-use policy will look like and how it will impact farmers and growers.

Can growers see off the looming labour crisis by boosting efficiency?

Can growers see off the looming labour crisis by boosting efficiency?

Concern over the availability of seasonal labour to the fresh-produce industry has never been greater.

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