UK entrepreneur announces £3m investment in fresh produce hub

Entrepreneur John Holland plans to create a new fresh food market in north east England, as part of a £3 million investment programme.

The CEO of J.R. Holland Group – a wholesale food supplier – will lead the project and aims to create a ‘one-stop hub’ for fresh produce growers, traders, and customers in the region.

The new facility will replace the existing north east wholesale fruit and vegetable market on Team Valley business estate, which Holland says has suffered from a lack of investment.

Following the investment, the 25,000 square-feet site will operate as a wholesale provider to fruit and vegetable retailers, restaurants, hospitals, caterers, schools and universities.

Holland says the initiative is intended to bring the fresh produce community together under one roof where they can network and form long-term relationships that ensure traceability and value. It will celebrate produce such as kumquats from Kenya and local leeks from Morpeth.

Once opened, it is anticipated that the hub will become the largest importer and distributor of fresh produce in the north of England, with an estimated 100,000 packages of produce expected to be sold through the facility every week.

As part of the programme, the development will also feature product specific multi-temperature-controlled zones to facilitate the daily deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables.

“My dream is to create a one-stop, fresh produce hub of the future,” said John Holland.

He added: “The fresh produce hub will be a tidy, clean and inspirational one-stop marketplace that will shorten supply chains, reduce food miles and ultimately drive forward our industry into a new era of growth.”

Following the inauguration, the hub is anticipated to generate and secure 60 year-round jobs. The facility is expected to open in early 2021.

Source: Food Bev Media