£3.5m loan from Lloyds Bank has allowed the group to introduce greener measures and expand warehouse capacity

Nationwide Produce Evesham extension

Nationwide Produce has expanded one of its warehouses in Evesham by 75 per cent while introducing greener measures, thanks to the support of a £3.5m loan from Lloyds Bank.

The Southport, UK-based company is a family-owned business that grows, grades, packs, trades, imports and exports fresh produce including vegetables and fruits from around the world.

According to Nationwide, it approached Lloyds Bank to secure the funding package that was used to increase the space of its warehouse from 32,000 square feet to 56,000 square feet.

The expansion also saw the business’ pallet capacity rise from 900 to 2,100, allowing for more stock to be stored.

Nationwide said it was committed to sustainability, making ”tangible steps on the road to net zero” by investing in renewable power and switching to more environmentally friendly technology.

To support these green ambitions, the firm used the funding to build five temperature-controlled chambers which offer an 84 per cent reduction in global warming potential, meaning they can achieve the same cooling effect as previous chambers while emitting fewer greenhouse gases.

The new technology will improve cooling performance and increase energy efficiency in the business by up to 15 per cent, Nationwide outlined, while also allowing the company to store produce at optimal temperatures meaning the quality remained better for longer.

Solar panels were also installed at the warehouse, growing its total renewable electricity offering by almost two thirds and bringing capacity up to 500kW across the company’s facilities.

To minimise waste that ends up in landfill, Nationwide Produce has also implemented a streamlined waste management process that utilises anaerobic digestion, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and removing landfill costs.

Overall, the new space has given Nationwide Produce the ability to hold more stock, and increase buying power meaning it can fulfil customer orders more efficiently, negotiate better deals with suppliers and improve its level of service, it stated.

“As a global importer, and UK and EU exporter, we are seeing a rise in demand for fresh produce from customers across all sectors of the market,” said Tim O’Malley, group managing director at Nationwide Produce.

”Last year, our turnover was above pre-pandemic levels at £143m and we’re already set to see a record-breaking turnover of £185m this year as we meet demand for increased volume.

“The new warehouse space will be vital in helping maximise this opportunity for growth by helping us work more efficiently, improve and expand our product line, and ultimately, provide our customers with an even better service.

“We’re also committed to driving decarbonisation within the company and are proud to say 100 per cent of the power needed to run our UK depots and offices is being produced from renewable energy sources, including our recently installed solar panels,” he added.

John Csizmadia, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said that Nationwide was a “fantastic example” of an innovative and customer-centric business.

”The new warehouse space will help the company to meet increased demand, while also expanding its offering and improving its sustainability efforts,” he said.

“We’re proud to be by the side of the business as it continues to grow and look forward to seeing the direction it takes for the future.”