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08.10.03
Objective One enables Carley's to open new organic food production facility in Truro

A Cornish organic food manufacturer can now look forward to a healthy and productive future after Carleen Kelemen, Objective One Programme Director, gave the following speech to declare a new organic food processing facility in Truro officially open.

"Cornwall is buzzing: Eden; Ryanair; National Maritime Museum; Tate in St Ives; a unique building, the Hub, of our Combined Universities in Cornwall marking the skyline at Penryn; the pioneering actnow project leading the way for the UK in the engagement of business with new IT infrastructure; and now Alex bringing Cornwall yet again to the attention of the nation and in a way that celebrates that special uniqueness in being 'of Cornwall'.

"Today marks a special day for Carley's Organics. This facility will enable Carley's to take advantage of the increasing market opportunities available to Cornish food producers at this time. Businesses need to move up a gear – think quality, consistency and investment – in increasing production capacity to meeting growing customer demand and expectations.

"The Cornish food economy is worth around £1 billion per annum and provides 12,500 jobs. Many of these businesses have developed in traditional markets and have limited scope for development and growth. The emerging Cornish brand is inspiring greater consumer awareness and confidence in the quality and assurance of our locally produced foods. The spend per head for tourists is increasing, more visitors are coming in the shoulder months and local people are thinking more about the nature of their food and where and how it is produced. And it makes sense - studies have shown that every pound spent on local produce creates £25.

"If local businesses use local people, local people use local businesses.
John, Shirley and Kevin – congratulations on the opening of your new facility – and may I wish you the very best in maximising the new business opportunities for a healthy and successful future for Carley's Organics."

Objective One has provided almost £58,000 of investment towards a £232,000 project to allow Carley's of Cornwall to dramatically increase their production output and expand their product ranges in order to meet market demand.

Carley's have had their own shop in St Austell Street, Truro for the past 29 years, baking fresh bread and cakes as well as their own range of pasta sauces, chutneys and preserves from a small kitchen and bakery on the premises.

With the renaissance in Cornish tourism in recent years, Carley's has forged agreements with local tourist attractions, producing co-branded bottled and jarred products for the Eden project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.

Now producing a range of products for sale in a number of outlets in Cornwall and the Isles and Scilly and countrywide, the increasing demand for their products and their desire to improve their ranges encouraged Carley's to make the leap to larger scale production.

After five months of refurbishment work to prepare their new premises, Carley's moved their new facility, just a stone's throw away from their shop in Truro, to an industrial unit off Malpas Road in May. In the months that have followed five new jobs have already been created, with more positions planned over the next two years as production increases.

Now equipped with approximately 2,500 sq ft of floor space, Carley's has already started to produce quarter tonne batches of products, whereas previously the batch sizes produced were limited to the size of three large saucepans!

With the increase in production capacity, Cornish organic farmers are also set to see the benefits of Carley's becoming a larger food processor. In 2000 Carley's initiated the setting up and development of the Cornwall Organic Partnership, a co-operative between themselves and organic farmers and growers in Cornwall. This partnership gives growers a good return for their crops and an outlet for physically imperfect items, which would be rejected by large retailers, but can be used in many of the processed products made by Carley's.

Company director Kevin Gray-Roberts said: "The Objective One investment has enabled us to finish our new facility in a much shorter time frame and to a higher quality than would otherwise have been possible. This has helped us to approach bigger markets sooner and for the first time we have the capacity and the premises quality to enable us to look at supplying the retail multiples. Business is already booming at our new facility and we are finally able to provide our clients with the quantities of products they want. I'm also delighted that we've now got the opportunity to put out creative hats on and cook up exciting new additions to our ranges of pasta and cooking sauces, pestos, seed spreads, nut butters and chutneys, which initial indications show are being very well received."

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership said: "I am delighted to be here at the official opening of this new facility. Developing the markets for Cornish produce and enhancing Cornwall's reputation as a provider of high quality food is a developing success story under Objective One. Investment in this new facility for processing high quality organic locally sourced food not only supports the local economy but also helps processors and producers to maximise new market opportunities."

The £231,909 project has been part funded with £57,977 from the Objective One European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, (EAGGF) which has been equally match funded by DEFRA with the remaining money coming from the private sector.

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Editor's notes:

European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)

EAGGF is one of the four funds that make up the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which is making £314 million available to support the local economy between 2000 and 2006.

EAGGF aims to:

Help preserve the link between diversified farming and the land
Improve and support the competitiveness of agriculture as a key activity in rural areas
Ensure the diversification of the economy in rural areas
Help to keep thriving communities in rural areas
Preserve and improve the environment, the landscape and the rural heritage

For further information contact:

Kevin Gray-Roberts or John Carley
Carley's of Cornwall
01872 277686 or 01872 27009

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Jason Clark
Communications Adviser
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
objectiveone@cornwall.gov.uk

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