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‘Our intention is to invest’: New owner outlines plans after acquisition of vegetable processing firm

THE NEW owner of Bedfordshire-based vegetable processing company MyFresh is planning major investment in the site.

Tuber Group intends to install cooking and freezing equipment and introduce a “high-care operation” as part of its plans to become the UK’s ‘one-stop shop’ for the business, food service and retail markets.

Tuber Group managing director Stephen Humphrey pictured with his wife and fellow shareholder Rebecca said: “This latest acquisition marks another exciting milestone in the development of Tuber Group as we continue to expand the range of food products we offer and optimise our global procurement capabilities. The addition of a well-established vegetable processor like MyFresh is a great fit for us given Tuber Group’s established position on the global vegetable trading stage, alongside our added-value potato manufacturing site, serving both retail and food service.”

The business, based in Yorkshire, has paid an undisclosed sum for MyFresh, founded in 1987 and which has been part of the William Jackson Food Group since 2006. It is one of the UK’s leading processors and suppliers of freshly prepared vegetables to the B2B and food service sector. Its range includes peeled and chopped potatoes, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes and pureed products and employs 150 staff in its vegetable processing facility at Chicksands.

The acquisition is part of Tuber Group’s expansion strategy, having acquired plant-based convenience foods manufacturer Saxon Foods in Scunthorpe in November last year, adding a range of allergen free frozen products to its portfolio.

Tuber Produce was founded in 2017 by Steven Humphrey to supply potatoes to food processors and packers in the UK. It procures a wide range of fresh and frozen produce for food processors and food service businesses worldwide.

Mr Humphrey said: “Our intention is to invest heavily in the MyFresh site, installing cooking and freezing capabilities, alongside a high-care operation in order to become the UK’s biggest ‘one stop shop’ supplying freshly prepared, cooked and frozen and ready to eat vegetables, along with pureed products, to B2B, food service and retail clients.

“There is a fantastic team at MyFresh and we are looking forward to working with them as we take this great business on the next step of its journey. By building on MyFresh’s many years of knowledge and expertise of the fresh prep sector, we will drive it into new areas, such as ready to eat products, direct to retail and aim to add significant value to the food sector as a whole through our innovative ideas.”

MyFresh prepares more than 35,000 tonnes of vegetables each year for food service and food manufacturing customers. It also produces vegetable mixes, pastes and purées such as garlic, ginger and chilli. It has a dedicated office in southern Spain. Its Chicksands factory, rated Grade AA by the British Retail Consortium, has an anaerobic digestion plant on site, generating electricity from vegetable waste.

James Watson, chief executive of MyFresh’s parent company William Jackson Food Group, said: “This sale represents a great opportunity for MyFresh to join a like-minded business with expertise in fresh produce and plans to invest and expand into new markets. We have known some of our MyFresh colleagues for 16 years so it is hard to say farewell but I have no doubt that this opportunity is what MyFresh needs to thrive.”

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