Fresh Produce Journal have reported on The Fruitery’s BRC accreditation just two months after the official launch.
The Fruitery – the recently launched prepared ready to eat division launched by soft fruit experts Chambers – is supporting this year’s London Produce Show with a number of initiatives.
The Fruitery, which has just achieved early Grade A BRC accreditation, represents a first in the UK as Chambers is the only specialist fruit grower to have invested in its own prepared fruit facility. The Fruitery delivers a retailer own-label soft fruit product to foodservice and major multiples direct from the farm and offers seamless year-round supply of fresh soft fruit that leads to an extended shelf life of up to two days. Response to the launch has been swift with the business already securing accounts with UK and continental retailers, and a number of other high-profile food retailers registering an interest.
The London Produce Show will provide an opportunity for delegates to the event’s ‘The Perishable Pundit’s Thought Leader Breakfast Panel’ on Thursday 6th June to sample the quality fresh berries during the early morning (07.30 – 09.15) debate. Later the same day, from 09.30 The Fruitery will be on show at the trade exhibition on stand 108, with a team of Chambers’ personnel on hand ready to provide more details on The Fruitery’s unique offering. On Friday 7th June, Chambers has organised an exclusive Production Tour, comprising a hands-on, interactive and educational tour of the company’s largest own berry farm and the new high care prepared fruit facility.
The Production Tour will be two-fold starting with a visit to Home Farm located near Dartford, where members of the senior management team (including Chambers’ owner and managing director Tim Chambers) will give a tour of the largest Chambers’ farm. This will be followed by a trip to the company’s headquarters at Oakdene Farm in Maidstone, where they will visit The Fruitery, the prepared fruit division which represents a £2m investment.
Commenting on the inaugural Production Tour, Group Technical Director Rupert Carter says, “Visitors will witness the two different aspects of British fruit farming today. They will have the chance to see a traditional soft fruit production site, as well as understand the berry journey from field through to the high care facility and beyond. We will also share our learnings since setting up The Fruitery which may be useful for any visitors thinking about doing something similar, or establishing comparable revenue streams. We hope that retailers and buyers will find it interesting to see at first-hand how all the aspects of the supply chain are carefully managed directly by Chambers. Soft fruit is notoriously challenging and fast-changing so our goal is to establish a stronger awareness of the complexities associated with this type of product.”
On a lighter note, the Tour will also include some more fun activities, including pitting the highly experienced Chambers’ fruit pickers against the visitors and of course there will be extensive tasting opportunities!
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Note to editors
The Fruitery builds on Chambers’ established heritage (since 1952) as a grower, specialising in raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, cherry and more recently blueberry production. The business has successfully extended its growing capabilities outside of the domestic growing season by growing their plants at overseas farms located in Iberia, Poland, Peru and Bulgaria. In addition, Chambers has linked up with like-minded growers around the world to ensure the seamless supply of high-quality fresh berries for its customers 52 weeks of the year.
Chambers also handles the packing and transportation of the produce using its own packhouse (BRC (AA+) graded, Soil Association approved) and a fleet of refrigerated vehicles to meet ‘same day’ delivery requirements.
The Fruitery supplies fruit that is transferred from field to chilled within one hour. Regular lab testing is undertaken to maintain the very highest standards of food hygiene in line with the protocols required by various food retailer accreditation schemes. The ‘direct from the growers’ proposition not only relates to the superior quality of the fruit, it also signifies reduced food miles, 100% traceability & assured provenance, while the shortened supply chain delivers efficiency and an extended shelf life of up to two days.
The Fruitery range comprises a four and five Berry Medley in 160g, 220g and 240g variants; an 80g Blueberry snack pot; a Strawberry, Apple and Grape Medley in 130g and 160g variants; a Strawberry & Apple Medley in 130g and 160g variants; a Strawberry and Grape Medley in 130g and 160g variants. In addition, there is the option of a Catering pack (600g, 1kg and 1.5kg) in a variety of medley choices.
Just two months after its official UK launch at this year’s IFE, The Fruitery – the new prepared ready to eat division from Chambers, the soft fruit experts – has achieved BRC certification.
BRC is a global food safety initiative designed to demonstrate product and process compliance in line with industry best practice and the accreditation is an internationally recognised mark of food safety and quality. As a business with a strong track record in the provision of fresh fruit to the major multiples Chambers is familiar with the stringent quality and safety control requirements of today’s retailers. Given the company’s investment in the £2 million state of the art high care facility which enables The Fruitery to supply fruit that is transferred from field to chilled within hours, operating the highest standards of food hygiene, early BRC accreditation was always part of the original business plan.
Commenting on the news, Group Technical Director Rupert Carter said, “After a three-month validation period, we are delighted to receive the news that The Fruitery has achieved Grade A BRC accreditation. This internationally renowned standard enables us to demonstrate the capable nature of Chambers’ new venture, providing reassurance to our customers and the confidence to buy with trust. The Fruitery will be aiming at attainment of the double ‘A’ grade next year, as we move over to the unannounced scheme, although we were only a few marks short of being scored that this time around.”
The Fruitery supplies a variety of own label fresh fruit medley choices in a prepared, ready-to-eat format to foodservice and major multiples, offering a reduced supply chain which delivers efficiency and an extended shelf life of up to two days. The business has already secured accounts with UK and continental retailers, with a number of other high profile food retailers registering an interest.”