Lean and mean' Summerpride talks to leading UK buyers at Anuga South Africans hungry to sell more pineapple to UK Clive Beddall, Cologne South Africa's stake in the UK market for canned pineapple could be set for a boost. Leading SA packer Summerpride Foods, in Europe this week for the Anuga fair in Cologne, reports a growing interest from British supermarkets and distributors from its Eastern Cape factory. Managing director Allen Duncan and sales director Russell Tickner were meeting leading UK buyers, and are hopeful of building on the business they have retained in the competitive UK market in recent years with 15oz cans of pieces in juice in particular. Tickner told The Grocer: "The UK has traditionally been a market which has majored on quality. And while we may have lost out when pricing became an issue, there are signs that UK buyers are turning back to quality again. "Last year was tough. Pineapple prices dropped by between 45% and 50% in dollar terms, but we survived and we are hopeful of raising our UK business this year." Summerpride processes about 100,000 tonnes of of pineapple from growers throughout South Africa's Eastern Cape. Around 50 growers from Komga to Alexandria supply fruit to the East London cannery. Duncan added: "While we are keen to supply countries where we can achieve the best returns, we have always maintained a quality stance in our approach. We are not cheap and nasty. And while we will never be the cheapest, we pride ourselves on delivering quality product, on time." Summerpride has streamlined its business in recent years in a campaign which Duncan says has seen it become "lean and mean." He added: "Productivity is up by 40%." {{CANNED GOODS }}