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Growers unite to create £50m brassica venture

Two of Scotland’s longest established fresh produce organisations – East of Scotland Ltd (ESG) and R&K Drysdales Ltd (RKD) – have completed a merger and created an additional growing business called Pease Bay Farms.

The deal, managed by Scottish Law firm Thorntons, has allowed the new company to grow brassica crops across more than 1,000 acres of prime agricultural land, growing exclusively for the merger and joining ESG as a full member of the producer organisation.


Both organisations are key UK producers for their respective cropping, with ESG being a farmer owned co-operative based in Cupar, Fife.


The collective of 15 growers produces vegetable crops including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, carrots, onions, and asparagus.


The members’ farms are based in Fife, Angus, Perthshire, Kincardinshire and the Scottish Borders – producing more than 6,000 acres of Scottish brassicas on Scotland’s fertile east coast.


New company will grow brassica crops from more than 1,000 acres

RKD is the UK’s leading brussels sprout grower and packer, with one of the most sophisticated and high output grading, packing and storage facilities in Europe.


In addition to Brussels sprouts, RKD also grow and pack swede and leeks at their state-of-the-art facilities in Berwickshire.

East of Scotland Growers’ managing director Andrew Faichney.

Andrew Faichney, managing director of East of Scotland Growers, said: “This merger is very unique within Scotland and combines two firms with a longstanding history of high-quality produce.


“With a collective turnover approaching £50m this merger provides stability and security for our membership and will provide an additional range of products and value to our customer base.


“This is a very exciting development not just for the ESG and RKD stakeholders, but the entire fresh produce farming industry here in Scotland.”


Aligning the two organisations, couples Scotland’s leading vegetable growers to the premier brassica packer in the country.


‘With a collective turnover approaching £50m, this merger provides stability and security’

It also complements the winter cropping of RKD to the summer cropping portfolio of ESG, creating a sustainable, year-round producer.


The merger deal was managed by Alistair Lang, lead partner in the ventures and innovation team at Thorntons.


He said: “Agriculture is a vital contributing sector to the Scottish economy and effective and strategic partnerships are key component to its ongoing success. With both ESG and RKD achieving great things, facilitating the merger and creation of Pease Bay Farms can only be positive for the industry.”


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