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TH Clements sees ‘Brexit export opportunity’

Weakened pound has sparked interest in Lincolnshire grower’s brassicas from Eastern Europe as retailers look for year-round supply

TH Clements sees ‘Brexit export opportunity’

Richard Ince of TH Clements

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The technical manager of Lincolnshire brassica producer TH Clements has said he “absolutely” sees Brexit as an opportunity, with a weakened pound starting to make British vegetables more attractive to importers in Eastern Europe.

With Polish supermarkets now looking to provide 12-month supply of certain fresh produce, Richard Ince said new opportunities are opening up for British producers to fill supply gaps.

Looking to capitalise on this, TH Clements is exhibiting at Fruit logistica for the first time this year in the hope of finding new export customers.

“The doors have opened slightly for us to export to Europe now I think,” he told FPJ in Berlin. “Before, we weren’t competitive with the high pound, but now people are looking at the possibility of importing our brassicas. 

“Broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts and potatoes all seem to be in demand – we’ve had people ask about taking cauliflower and broccoli, and then a couple of questions about cabbage, but not as many.”

The Boston-based producer already exports in small volumes to Europe when it enjoys a flush, but he said the company could “potentially” move into growing more product for export in future, depending on the market situation and what happens with Brexit.

“There are a lot of people complaining that Brexit has softened the pound but we’re not,” Ince said. “Because we don’t already do a lot of export, it’s more an opportunity for us than a disadvantage.”

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