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Matt Godfroy - SunFresh Produce

"High standards only achievable within your own packing facility"

The fresh produce industry can be turbulent at the best of times, but for companies in the UK it’s future is more uncertain with Brexit taking place.

"There are many financial pressures and the looming Brexit adds uncertainties, but opportunities do exist," explained Matt Godfroy from the UK’s leading organic specialists, SunFresh Produce. "With the changing financial climate, our strategy of operating a lean business and using service providers in non-critical areas of our business has proved the right strategy; a week doesn’t pass without hearing about businesses reducing staff numbers, restructuring, consolidating or at worst closing”.


“The organic fresh produce category is experiencing growth where many categories are in decline and customers require a specialist partner who can manage the organic category and their expectations. The perception of organic’s being a small category compared to conventional is true but data shows the organic consumer is an important consumer to not only the fresh produce category but across the grocery categories,” said Matt.

SunFresh Produce started in 2011 with the salad category but since 2013 have expanded slowly with fruit and vegetables and now have a produce portfolio of over 50 lines. "We are a one-stop solution for customers who seek the highest quality standards and product integrity.

"From listening to our trading and growing partners we sought to provide a wider foundation to increase our service which has led to the decision and opportunity to start with a blank canvas and take the best of 70 years’ joint experience and create a dedicated organic operational platform at the highest level."

In May 2017 SunFresh Produce moved away from a third-party packing service provider to Bicker Bar in Boston, Lincolnshire, to create a new dedicated organic packing operation and team facility located on the site of Turners (Soham), a well-established supply chain provider in the fresh produce sector.

"Having total control and care of our growers carefully nurtured produce and packing to our customer’s high standards was and always will be our priority, but this is only achievable within your own packing facility. Whilst not wanting to build the entire infrastructure of a new site, we knew of the perfect site which complemented our ethos and didn’t create a conflict of interest," said Matt.

Turners already managed the distribution for SunFresh Produce and with the history of both companies it’s led to a long-term commitment from both parties building a future together. "We scoped the site and choose to redevelop existing cold stores and create the packhouse facility which is fully temperature controlled. Every detail of the build from the production facility, office layout, washrooms to even the toilet locations were custom designed always with view to achieving the highest standard for an organic facility.

Being an organic business focused on the environment we wanted the team facility to have the least environmental impact which led us to using the footprint of 20ft shipping containers as building blocks to the new facility.

“We raised the bar in terms of production machinery and invested in automation where possible with the guidance from Ulma, Herma and Ice equipment to name a few. It was large capital investment but the long-term benefit is protecting our trading and grower partners from the vulnerability of the uncertain climate by managing each expectation within SunFresh and not outsourcing this critical process.

"We have an amazing team across the SunFresh business and everyone contributes to making SunFresh the first choice for our trading and grower partners, I’m very proud, and especially lucky, to have such a supportive team who believe and trust in the vision we have," concludes Matt.

For more information:
Matt Godfroy
SunFresh Produce
Tel:  +44 1775 766400     
Email: matt@sunfreshproduce.com

Publication date: 7/19/2017
Author: Nichola McGregor
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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