L-r: REMS Frozen Foods founders Steve Humphrey, Adam Shepherd and James Kempley

Three food businesses have come together to launch a new frozen ingredients venture to supply food manufacturers.

REMS Frozen Foods is the brainchild of food industry veterans Adam Shepherd, MD of North Star Foods, James Kempley, group MD of Troy Foods, and Steve Humphrey, MD of fresh produce trader The Tuber Group.

The new company will import frozen food ingredients from around the world, specialising in Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) fruit, vegetables, spices and herbs for further processing by UK and Irish food manufacturers. Complete with BRC certified technical and supply services and backed by a secured funding facility, REMS says it will provide a field-to-factory service, managing all aspects of the import and delivery of a wide range of produce from IQF strawberries, blueberries, mangoes and melons to onions, garlic, ginger, chillies, tomatoes, potatoes, peas, carrots, mushrooms and peppers.

With a head office in Hessle and a trading office in Market Harborough, the business will be headed by Shepherd as managing director and will initially have a six-strong team. The operation will also have offices in China, USA, eastern Europe, Spain and Egypt.

“Having worked in the sector for the last 13 years, I believe that the frozen food ingredient supply market is ready for a shake-up,' said Shepherd. 'This collaboration between our three complementary businesses makes us ideally placed to use our expertise and resources to create a high-performance, specialist business that will really meet the needs of food manufacturers, foodservice providers and retailers by supplying top-quality products at competitive prices.

“With our extensive international raw material factory base, we will be able to source and supply a wide range of ingredients from artichokes to zucchini, for use in a vast array of products including ready meals, sausages, sauces, marinades and soups. Our aim is to provide a full-service offering, taking care of all aspects from the sourcing, quality control and importing of products to finance, currency exchange, purchase and customs. Given the added complexity of importing following Brexit changes, taking away the hassle of import issues and giving customers complete peace of mind is more important than ever.'

Shepherd said REMS would operate as a standalone business by the end of 2021, with up to a dozen staff. As well as serving the UK industry, the business has plans to expand into markets across Europe and beyond, he added.