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Media information
October 12 2007

Angus Soft Fruits strengthens international relations

Soft fruit specialist appoints new Senior Technical Manager Harvey Sansome

The Scottish-based Angus Soft Fruits growing group, based in Arbroath, is strengthening its international relations with a series of initiatives to help maximise its business opportunities at home and abroad.

Harvey Sansome joins the company from Tesco as Senior Technical Manager at Angus Soft Fruits, where together with Commercial Manager John Gray, he will interface with retailers. He will also assist the Technical Director, Dave Griffiths.

John Gray said, “Harvey brings with him a tremendous international insight into virtually every technical aspect of the fruit business, from growing to retailing. Our business is advancing through a combination of technical excellence and strong customer relations and Harvey will help us maximise our potential in these areas.”

While the season has been extremely challenging, the group – that grows raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries – has performed well. John Gray continues, “The weather has been poor and suppressed consumer demand but all things considered, our production levels have been remarkably good.”

Premium brands

AVA, the first UK branded strawberry that now leads the premium strawberry sector, is now grown by The Greenery in the Netherlands who supply the Benelux countries. The same berries are sold under the ‘Aromio’ brand name in Russia, where they are proving to be a hit with Muscovites.

John Gray added, “We have been pleasantly surprised by the Russian’s interest in our strawberries, which are available virtually all year round because they are grown in glasshouses.”

The season for AVA strawberries is also extended through production in Spain.

As well as being sold in the UK as premium strawberries in the Co-op (Truly Irresistible), Morrison’s (The Best), Sainsbury’s (Taste the Difference) and Tesco (Finest), AVA Strawberries are sold through a number of independent fine food retailers in Scotland.

Good Natured feedback

The innovatively produced pesticide free Good Natured Fruit raspberries and strawberries launched this spring have proved extremely popular in Ireland through Dunnes stores as well as the UK via Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

In spite of international developments, the vast majority of Angus Soft Fruits’ berries are grown and hand picked in Tayside & Fife, Perthshire and Kincardineshire in Scotland by a variety of family-run growers.

John Gray concludes, “As this summer season closes we are already thinking of next year and want to broaden our growing base to accommodate the demand for our premium soft fruits. We work to high specifications and the returns are positive - although increasingly under pressure from rising costs, particularly labour.”

www.avastrawberries.co.uk
www.goodnaturedfruit.co.uk

Angus Soft Fruits, East Seaton, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 5SD

- Ends -

Photos and interviews available on request.

Angus Soft Fruits

Angus Soft Fruits has a reputation for innovation within the soft fruit industry, achieved by a dedicated research and development team, led by Technical Director Dave Griffiths, based in Evesham. The company has developed new varieties, sophisticated growing systems and innovative production techniques to extend the availability of the best eating quality UK strawberries.

For further information, please contact Rosalind Clark on 020 7017 0896, email rosalind@yesconsultancy.com or Tina Fotherby on 020 7017 0892, email tina@yesconsultancy.com.


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