It’s coming up to a year since opening the doors of the Fruitery and business is “going very well” for Chambers, says Commercial Director, James Miller.
Photo source: Unsplash
“Our customers are very happy with the products that we supply” explained Miller, adding "we’re optimistic about our forthcoming audit, which we expect to show excellent results.”
And the company are expanding, with the Fruitery offering custom-branded fresh or ready-prepared options, which Miller says were “specifically asked for by our customers.”
Photo source: The Fruitery
However, the year has not been without its challenges, particularly in terms of workforce, where Chambers have been looking into agritech alternatives for fruit picking, but say that the technology isn’t quite there yet in terms of enabling them to effectively harvest the delicate berries they grow.
Miller feels that other areas of farm work are where agritech assistance is most needed. “We require labour to do a significant amount of work on the farms that isn’t picking fruit,” he said. "For example, we need agritech solutions for the husbandry work that is required, freeing up our workers to pick the fruit themselves.”
And an assisted workforce is just the beginning when it comes to Chambers' vision in terms of the future.
“We want to help change the eating habits of today’s younger consumers,” Miller explained, revealing that the majority of berries they grow and market are currently consumed by the over 65s, with only 3% being eaten by those people under 28.
“Personally, I see this as a problem for the industry and for the nation as a whole” he added.
The company feel that the solution could lie in tapping more heavily into the convenience sector.
“Convenience is key today,” Miller stressed. “And adapting to the younger generation’s buying trends is what we’re focused on in our aim to increase berry consumption.”
Promoting traceability, coupled with tackling the challenges of environmental sustainability in the supply chain are also top priorities for the Chambers in 2020.
“We’re currently working on a number of new alternative packaging trials to tackle the important issues surrounding plastic and the environment, but we need to consider the whole supply chain to ensure that we make the right decisions going forward.”