Ed Bedington
A road map' to help the weak learn from the strong and guide top fruit growers down the path to success has been commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers.
The organisation is investing £6,000 in sponsoring Violetta Viotanova, a Bulgarian MBA graduate from the City University's Cass Business School, London, to carry out a study of the top fruit industry.
Beginning in June, Viotanova will investigate the wider issues facing the industry and also conduct detailed analysis of individual businesses. The result of the review will be published in the autumn.
Dr Alwyn Thompson, technical secretary of the Fruiterers' Awards Council, said the study was intended to identify why some growers were prospering, despite difficult trading conditions, while others were having to reduce their acreage and businesses. "The intention is to produce a road map' highlighting the best practices of successful producers in order to guide those growers who are finding life more difficult. It is essential for all UK top fruit growers that the industry doesn't lose any more critical mass. This will show how the weak can learn from the strong, and thereby protect the viability of the overall industry."
He added that Viotanova had a background in agribusiness, having developed markets in agricultural sectors in Bulgaria and Macedonia, as well as indentifying and developing business opportunities in Russia and the Ukraine.
The move has been welcomed by Adrian Barlow, chief executive of English Apples and Pears, who said: "This analysis promises to be very beneficial for our top fruit industry as a whole and for individual growers."