The latest annual results for fresh produce suppliers Fresca Group showed an increase in turnover of almost 5%, to £433 million, on the previous financial period but pre-tax profit fell from £4.37m to £4.19m.
Its share of the turnover from its joint ventures, of which the Kent greenhouse salads production site Thanet Earth is its largest joint venture with growers, rose by 17% to £104.5m.
In his business review of the financial year, ending April 29, group chief executive Martyn Fletcher said Thanet Earth had delivered ‘a good performance’ despite being faced with unprecedented energy price inflation. “The site made several timely investments in projects that helped combat these rising costs,” he said.
Installation in LED lighting and metering has substantially reduced electricity usage, which will be further helped by new investment in solar panels, while investment in end-of-line automation will cut labour inputs.
The group is adding to its interests in crop production with the current construction of a 1.5ha glasshouse at DGM Growers of Holbeach. DGM Growers specialises in chicory, but the new hydroponic facility will be used for growing leaf products. “By growing more of our products ourselves we can control the integrity of the supply chain and ensure that the values we care about are truly reflected in the products we sell,” said Mr Fletcher.
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