Former Total Produce commercial manager David Cobham has died of coronavirus aged 70 after a successful career in fresh produce spanning four decades.
Cobham moved from Manchester to Littlehampton in West Sussex to join VHB European Produce in 1980, and he stayed with the business when it relocated to Northampton.
In 1984, he was one of the original founders of the well-respected Frumar Import business. Along with its parent company Worldfresh, Frumar became a part of Redbridge in 1997.
Ten years later, Redbridge was bought and integrated to create Total Produce UK, where Cobham remained until the end of his life.
“Whilst David had vast knowledge of the industry, he was a real expert in the salad and vegetable trade,” said Denis Punter, a non-executive director and former chairman at Total Produce.
“David was a Mancunian and a hard task master, with a sharp wit and outstanding trading skills. He prided himself on his lightening quick maths and, of course, his love of Manchester United.
“He will be fondly remembered by many of the young people he nurtured in the industry – a mentor and a leader by example, with a work ethic that was second to none.”
Punter added: “David had great loyalty and integrity and was enormously respected by all who met him. Like many in the trade, David was a lifer, and he will be a sad loss to the industry and to his family.”
Cobham passed away on 7 February 2021.