Three fresh produce businesses have been named in the top 50 fastest-growing businesses in the Worcestershire region.
Distributor and catering supplier EuroFresh Evesham, micro produce grower Westland Nurseries and salad veg supplier Valefresco each saw turnovers rise by between 15 and 17 per cent over the last three years, according to the second annual Worcestershire Growth Barometer 2017 report.
The overall food and agriculture sector in Worcestershire grew revenues by 14 per cent in the last year, the report found, behind manufacturing and precision engineering (+40 per cent), retail, wholesale and leisure (+29 per cent) and real estate and construction (+25 per cent).
As well as tracking successful business performances, the report monitors the progress of a ten-year plan led by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, which has invested heavily in regional infrastructure since 2016.
While revenue growth is strong, the report identified IT infrastructure and connectivity, as well as talent recruitment, as key challenges for businesses in the region.
“As this year’s edition of the Growth Barometer shows, the county’s Top 50 fastest-growing mid-sized businesses are continuing to expand at a steady pace,” said business advisory firm BDO director, Gary Rouse.
“Once again this year we continue to see a very supportive, close-knit, colligate business-friendly environment. Some of the credit for this should go to the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and their willingness to engage and support businesses.”
In the last two years, Rouse said the LEP has overseen direct investments worth more than £23 million, in areas ranging from flood alleviation to broadband connectivity.
Chair of the Worcestershire LEP Mark Stansfeld said he wants to build on the area's traditional strengths in agriculture and light manufacturing. “Worcestershire has seen impressive achievements in the past few years, being recognised as the number one county for productivity gains and higher-level workforce skills growth,” he said.
“The vision is to build a brand and make it a place people talk about not just in the UK, but internationally.”