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."


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

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.