Florette looking forward to continued 15% growth English growers are learning the secrets of producing a new range of speciality salads such as escarole, frisee and lambs lettuce for Soleco, France's largest specialist producer which has opened its own factory at Fradley near Lichfield. CJN Williams, the family farming group with which it is in partnership, recently purchased a further 300 acres for production within five miles of the site. And to meet demand, other producers have been contracted in the West Midlands and Kent. Toby Williams has been able to tap into experts such as procurement manager Jean Michael Houlbert who is responsible for much of the sourcing of more than 50,000 tonnes of produce grown across France, Spain, Italy and the UK. Houlbert is impressed by the British attitude. "We have had a very good experience working with English suppliers," he said. "Certainly we will be looking to contact more in the future." Other potential crops include the various types of rocket. While the factory has been open less than a year, the UK is providing more than 2,500 tonnes from mid July until October. Sylvain Finel, UK director, estimates that the total market is now worth some £150m and anticipates Florette can look forward to a continuing 15% growth rate. Soleco, which already packs a range of more than 60 lines for UK multiples and the catering trade, projects further growth. Finel is now planning to expand the capacity of the site which means more opportunities for English horticulture. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}