QV foods

Lincolnshire’s QV Foods has been one of the success stories of the fresh produce industry over the past decade, appearing on many lists of fastest-growing companies in UK food.

Having risen to become one of produce’s major players, it’s now there to be shot at, and the challenge is how to retain its position and continue to grow.

QV’s latest set of accounts reveal a strong balance sheet, with over 20 per cent turnover growth and a healthy profit margin.

Like many operating in the potato and field veg arena, though, turnover growth was driven to a significant extent by surging prices following the tough 2012 harvest, but the firm also pointed out it put a focus on efficiencies, rationalisation and integration of its business. And, like other major businesses, the company has had to adapt to a changing marketplace, a nod to which came with the news in November that QV has set up a joint venture with Nationwide Produce to handle onions.

The new venture, Anglia Growing Partnership, is all about reducing costs and enabling efficient whole-crop marketing. It also helps reduce investment risks and secure vertical integration benefits, according to the company.

However, one major potential impact on QV’s future turnover was the announcement by IPL this month that it had entered exclusive negotiations to acquire QV’s Scottish potato packing assets in Inchture, a deal that is set to be completed in 2016. What effect that will have remains to be seen.