The UK's largest cucumber grower Humber Growers has acquired Van Heyningen Bros which occupies a similar position in the tomato industry. To be known as Humber VHB, the larger company will market 20 million cartons of salads and herbs from 450 acres of glasshouses. The company believes the acqusition makes it the largest glasshouse grower in the world. Humber Growers has nurseries on Humberside, Lancs and Norfolk. VHB is spread across six sites in Kent, West Sussex and Wales. The total for the group is 230 acres, while it markets the production from a further 200 acres for other English producers. It also owns 15 acres of glasshouses in Portugal and five acres in Spain providing year round continuity for British supermarkets, wholesale and foodservice. The range of crops grown includes peppers, cress and herbs. Total sales in the first year are expected to reach £120m. Chairman Roger Sayer said the synergies between the two companies would allow greater focus on individual customer needs while reducing costs. MD Andrew Cooksey, who held a similar position at VHB, said that sales would be maximised through a better resourced marketing team. There are plans to expand the current portfolio of an already wide range of tomato types, as well as organic salads. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}