New Covent Garden firm P&I Side Salads has established a new wholly-owned subsidiary to supply branded produce to regional markets and catering suppliers across the country.
Fresh Produce Brokers will be based out of NCGM with a secondary hub in Evesham. Its core offering is built around premium produce from brands including G’s, Chiquita, European Salads, Flamingo Horticulture, the Mushroom Man, Italian La Costiera leafy lemons and French Savéol tomatoes, with distribution handled by IDS Transport. Headed up by P&I’s David Emmett, the business will also incorporate a trading element for other produce when required.
He said the new business caters to P&I’s larger customers, which may be forced to move off the market due to space restraints.
“NCGM is struggling for space so we had to come up with a concept,” he said. “When Mash moved out we could have potentially lost them as a customer so we were proactive to send produce to them.
“Growth is a problem – bigger catering companies on the market don’t have room to grow. We need to make sure we can maintain our customer base if they move off the market.”
Speaking about the benefit to produce brands supplying the new business, Emmett said: “For a lot of these companies, it’s about brand recognition. Flamingo, for example, do a lot of own label into retailers, so this is a way for them to raise their own profile.”
The new business will operate primarily on fixed prices, but will retain the “wholesale mentality” of business without a paper contract, he added.