Regional potato firms united as AKP Group swoops for Wolds Produce

North Lincolnshire-based potato specialist AKP Group has bought York-based Wolds Produce.

The undisclosed deal is described as building a stronger, more resilient supply chain, supporting the growth of the wider UK industry. It will see expertise, resources and experience combined over a larger regional footprint, bringing the trading of more than 50,000 tonnes of potatoes to the Elsham Wold firm, while doubling the team to around 46.

Established in 1999 by Richard Arundel and Bruce Kerr, AKP Group is a grower and supply chain specialist, serving retail, processing and food service sectors in the UK and overseas. Wolds was launched in 2004, offering crops from Yorkshire’s fields to packers. It supplies into the crisping, chipping and potato seed industries.

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Richard Arundel, managing director of AKP Group, which turned over £16.3 million in its last reported financial year to July 2022, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Wolds Produce into the AKP Group. By combining our respective services and scaling up our operation across storage, washing, grading and distribution, we can help our growers and partners to minimise risk, reduce their costs and make it happen for UK farming.

“At AKP Group, we take pride in being flexible and responding to the changing needs of the industry. This acquisition represents a strategic step towards realising our vision of becoming the go-to partner within the UK’s potato industry. We are excited that Wolds Produce shares this focus and we are excited about the opportunities this partnership will bring to our network of growers and customers.”

Wolds, based at The Airfield, Pocklington, employs 23 people, with a growing base of farmers growing for it. It is also one of the largest independent seed producers in the UK, supplying high-quality seed to businesses across the country.

Tim Foggin, managing director, said: “AKP Group is one of the largest potato growers in the country and so naturally, it boasts a team of highly experienced and knowledgeable individuals who will only enhance our operation further.

“The culture and forward-thinking nature of AKP Group aligns with our own values, and we look forward to merging our expertise and consolidating our respective strengths.”

Wolds Produce will continue to operate independently under AKP Group, with all employees retaining their current roles. Both employed 23 staff according to their latest filed accounts.

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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