The UK’s largest apple and pear grower AC Goatham & Son has welcomed the government’s announcement this week of a new UK-India trade deal which will see restrictions lifted to enable UK fruit producers to export British apples and pears to India.
Ross Goatham, managing director at AC Goatham & Son, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for our business as we grow and supply the best quality British apples and pears direct to supermarket customers, controlling every step in the process from the trees in the ground to delivery in our own vehicles. It is therefore very easy for us to explore new overseas markets and the potential that new trade deals present.
“Our significant programme of investment in our business over the last 10+ years from developing new varieties through to cold storage and packing technology means we have an increasing volume of our own fruit and the capacity for handling and storage, plus that of our 20 partner growers," he continued.
“Export is something that we have already successfully trialled to the Middle East and we look forward to opening discussions with interested parties in India.”
The non-tariff barriers on fruit export to India will also help boost UK jobs and growth in the topfruit sector, Goatham added. With a population larger than both the EU and US combined, the Indian market (1.4bn people) presents a significant opportunity.
AC Goatham & Son grows over 350 million apples and 55 million pears each year, which is one in every three British apples and Pears sold each year in the UK.
The firm began trading in 1947 as agricultural contractors and fresh produce merchants. In 1980, it established a farming operation growing apples and pears. It is now run by father and son Clive and Ross Goatham along with their business operations team. In 2022 it will celebrate its 75th anniversary.