Crofter’s Foods, which sells a range of local produce such as cooked meats, sausages, pies and organic vegetables, works directly with a number of local suppliers, such as cheesemaker Shepherds Purse.
The business was set up by Grahame and Jane Armitage in June last year.
However, it is now ready to dramatically increase its scale as a result of a £26,000 grant from the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs. Grahame Armitage said that the grant had helped the business to develop a web site and that it intended to add another delivery van to the two it currently has on the road.
Armitage said that demand from customers had also convinced him to develop frozen oven-ready and microwaveable ready meals.
In January, London-based home delivery service Food Ferry went out of business after MD James Millar said that it could no longer compete with the multiple grocers’ home delivery services.
Booker has rejoined the Federation of Wholesale Distributors. The cash and carry group quit the trade body in May 2004 after falling out with Bill Grimsey, then chief executive of Booker’s parent the Big Food Group. However, Booker has been involved in the FWD’s My Shop is Your Shop campaign. Charles Wilson, Booker’s chief executive, is due to speak at the FWD conference in April.
Fyffes’ full-year adjusted pre-tax profit rose 33.6% to )121.8m on group sales up 15.2% to )1,742m. Chairman Carl McCann said: “The group continues to focus on enhancing shareholder value, including pursuing further acquisitions and alliances.”
Premier Foods’ full-year operating profit rose 18.2% to £95.3m on sales up 6% to £789.7m. Like-for-like sales rose 1.6%. Robert Schofield, chief executive, added: “The trading environment remains highly competitive and energy-related inflationary pressure remains a concern.”
Leeds Co-operatives’ full-year net profit to January 14 rose 17% to £1.7m on sales up 1.45% to £76.1m. Sales in its food division rose 3.17% to £37.4m. Alan Gill, chief executive, said: “In the past five years the society has got stronger in terms of its financial performance and its involvement with members.”
Like-for-like retail sales on the high street last month failed to live up to expectations. BRC data shows that like-for-like sales rose 0.6% in February - short of City predictions of 1%. Kevin Hawkins, BRC director general, said: “These results underline the continuing squeeze on consumer spending and there is no sign of an upturn.”
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