UK fruit importer/exporter backs polar expedition

A Midland businessman has stepped in to save a globally important, milestone expedition that could be the last of its kind ever to be made by a British team.
Set to make it into the history books with worldwide repercussions, the Sir Ranulph Fiennes’-backed Race Against Time will see Coventry-born explorer Mark Wood trek from the Russian Arctic Coast to the geographic North Pole across the “fragile” Arctic ice.

But the dangerous 60 day trek, set to expose the true fallout of climate change in the Arctic, was on the verge of failing due to a lack of sponsorship when Midland entrepreneur Mark Tweddle heard of Wood’s expedition and plight at a guest lecture the explorer was giving.

It was at this 11th hour that the 38-year-old, Mark Tweddle, of Kings Bromley, Lichfield, who runs successful global fruit import and export business Jupiter Marketing at Newport, near Telford, in Shropshire, stepped in and pledged his financial support to save the “bold” and “crucial” expedition.

It’s a treacherous journey few have completed and, due to climate change, it’s one scientists predict will become impossible by 2058.

Mr Tweddle, a former pupil at Denstone College, Uttoxeter, and coach at Kings Bromley Cricket Club, said, “Mark Wood is an inspirational leader and educator and we strongly believe in the importance of this expedition. After hearing about it at such a decisive stage, I simply could not stand by and let it fail to get off the starting block. As a caring, global firm, of course we do our utmost to limit our impact on the global environment but it’s important that we, and other businesses, understand better the true first hand effects that global warming is having on our world. We want to educate the businesses and workforces that supply us around the world so we can work together on minimising our impact on global warming.”

“As a company that is leading in its field with global firsts, including with new varieties of grapes, we wanted to be part of a world last.

Expedition patron Sir Fiennes said the environment Wood’s three man team will traverse on their journey has “got to be one of the most fragile, barren and unforgiving landscapes on our planet”.

As well as photographs, Wood will also take video footage to record every step of the expedition and the terrain he faces as a lasting legacy as well as bring back ice samples for study.

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