Norman Collett, the apple and pear marketing company, has opened a 40,000sq. ft distribution centre at Paddock Wood after a £3.2m investment. It has the capacity to store 1,000 pallets and will house back-office and packaging functions. The company has a 21% share of the English apple and pear industry, selling produce on behalf of 49 Kent-based growers.
A new seedless red grape variety could be destined for supermarket shelves. Dr David Ramming at a US Department of Agriculture research station in California has developed a cross between Thompson Seedless and Concord varieties. He believes that its texture and taste make it a candidate for commercial success.