Harvesting the fruits of the innovation generation
Mucking in and bucking Brexit - Bardsley England looks to sustainable future with IPP
A long-established Kent family which is harnessing state-of-the-art technology to buck Brexit, increase capacity and cut waste to zero has signed a distribution deal with IPP, Europe’s leading pooler of sustainable wooden pallets, as part of its long-term strategy to become the UK’s biggest fruit grower.
Now in its fifth generation, Bardsley England, which has its headquarters in the Weald of Kent, in the heart of the Garden of England, harvests millions of apples, pears, plums and apricots for the UK’s fruit bowls, as well as producing and bottling its own range of high-quality fruit juices.
The deal with IPP, secured after a competitive tender, ensures its fruits arrive at the UK’s leading supermarkets in a just-in-time manner, as part of the sustainable circular economy.
Bardsley England, which operates across 17 farms across Kent and pack fruit on behalf of over 30 growers, is constantly researching best practice methods for delivering its products to market.
Under the stewardship of Managing Director Ben Bardsley, a former Sandhurst-trained army officer, the business has invested in the latest automated technology at its packhouse and even introduced a ‘parent shift’ to develop home grown sorters to fit around school times if recruiting seasonal staff becomes an issue after March 29.
“The thing I learned in the Army is always think to the finish, so you can see a way through the issue – that has helped me to steer the business,” said Ben, whose 2017 investment in automation saw a 30 per cent reduction in costs.
“We have a very collaborative approach and have signed with IPP because it shares our philosophy on sustainable supply chains in a competitive market.”
Other quality initiatives used includes automated camera technology that takes 150 images of each apple to detect size, weight, colour, sugar content and helps identify internal defects, an investment which paid for itself in the first year.
Phil Storer, UK and Ireland director of IPP, who first coined the phrase ECOnomics to describe sustainable deliver in the circular economy, said: “Bardsley England is a great example of business innovation in action. It is passionate about ideas and future-proofing its fruit production by squeezing every last drop of efficiency it can muster.
“This very much reflects our approach so we can grow together to harvest a great future,” he added.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
IPP is Europe’s number one integrated full-service pooler of pallets and boxes.
With a history dating back to 1891, this Dutch family business provides pallet and box pooling services across Europe and is also one of Europe’s largest producers of wooden pallets.
The IPP pool is a leading rental provider of pallets and boxes in fast moving consumer goods and industrial supply chains across Europe. Visit www.ipp-pooling.com
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Issued March 2019