Cauliflower company grows
of the largest cauliflower producers and marketers in Cornwall,
named last year as one of the UK's fastest growing companies,
is continuing to expand with the help of Objective One investment.
Riviera Produce Ltd, based near Hayle, produces, packs and
markets Cornish cauliflower, spring greens and cabbage to
many of the major supermarkets and to wholesalers, retailers
and processors in the South West.
Fast track 100 ranks Britain's hundred fastest growing
unquoted companies by 2000-2003 sales growth. Published in
The Sunday Times in December 2005, Riviera Produce Ltd came
in at number 75, notably the only agriculture-based firm to
This year, business is still growing rapidly, aided by the
valuable contribution made by Emma Stevens, employed under
the Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) scheme as Riviera's
marketing manager South West.
UCP, a highly successful Combined Universities in Cornwall
initiative, has received Objective One investment and is run
by Cornwall College. It places graduates with businesses in
the region, subsidising salary and supplying a mentor for
up to 12 months.
Since Emma joined Riviera Produce Ltd in March 2005, sales
into South West markets have increased by more than 20% and
she has developed the region's customer base by 50%.
"So many organisations simply pay lip service to
sourcing local food, reducing food miles and giving consumers
the quality that they expect, but Riviera are physically taking
steps to achieve this," said Emma, who graduated
from Keele University, Staffordshire in Business, French and
German. "We are also still developing national accounts,
maintaining a 52 week supply of Cornish cauliflower and spring
greens thanks to our agronomy expertise."
As well as focusing on boosting local markets, Emma has
also been developing margin trackers to compare performance
year on year, as well as forecasts and budgets to predict
peaks and troughs in supply and demand to maximise sales.
"Using forecasting, budgets and tracking we are
able to plan for any surplus and deficit, allowing us to supply
all customers, regardless of size, whilst maintaining continuity,
availability and the highest quality."
David Simmons, managing director, added: "Through
the UCP scheme we have been able to employ an extremely high
calibre graduate to make an impact through the co-ordination
and implementation of our sales and marketing strategy here
at Riviera Produce."
Allyson Glover, UCP spokesperson, said: "Emma
has done an exceptional job, the work she is doing and the
information she is providing is putting the business one step
ahead of the game."
Emma added: "UCP has given me the opportunity
to achieve an appropriate level of employment. I had definite
salary requirements and certain expectations of the role,
and these were met by UCP and Riviera."
Riviera Produce Ltd has also benefited from Objective One
investment for a new cold store facility to ensure that this
high quality is maintained and controlled throughout the cool-chain.
David Rodda, Cornwall Agricultural Council spokesman, said:
"Riviera Produce is an example of an agricultural
business that has embraced the challenges and opportunities
facing the industry and developed a business that has achieved
significant growth in recent years. It has utilised the investment
available from the Objective One Programme to build the facilities
required to cater for the demands of the multiple retailers
and to employ people with the necessary skills to ensure continued
growth. Riviera Produce also works in partnership with 40
other farmers who grow much of the produce required to fulfil
their contracts. This supply chain network works well and
is a further example of the industry collaborating together
to add value."
For further information please contact Clare Morgan on 01872
223439 or email: email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the Unlocking Cornish Potential
project through the European Social Fund (ESF). The Programme
has also invested in Riviera Produce through the European
Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).
Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and
land based industries project is advised to speak with Martin
Butler, at Government Office South West on 01752 635015 before
commencing development as there are now only limited funds
available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural
sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Riviera Produce and its sister company PE
Simmons and Son are one of Cornwall's leading packer/producers
of Cornish fruit and vegetables for the UK retail, processing
and wholesale markets, sourcing over one million trays of
produce all year round from local farms and its own 2,500-acre
family run estate. Riviera Produce sales have risen 75% a
year from an annualised £1.3 million in 2000 to £6.8
million in 2003.
Riviera Produce benefited from £88,000 of Objective
One investment from the EAGGF (European Agricultural Guidance
and Guarantee Fund), with match funding coming from the Department
of Food, Environment & Rural Affairs, to invest £439,000
into the development of a state-of-the-art production site,
at Hayle. This has helped sales to rise by 75% year on year,
boosting the produce demanded for Cornish produce.
Key Achievements for Riviera produce include:
||Increased sales into South West markets by more than
||Developed customer base to include 50% more major wholesalers
||PR through radio Cornwall focusing on local fresh produce.
||Published articles in industry journals including The
Fresh Produce Journal, The Grocer, and Farmers'
||Represented company at Royal Cornwall Show and The Royal
Show in Stoneleigh.
||Established an efficient and professional reception
service to ensure that all customers are given our best
||Set up weekly retail price-checker reports.
||Set up margin tracker reports on Opera for all national
||Carry out supermarket visits to rank merchandising,
range, quality and price each week to provide comparisons.
Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP): UCP programmes
place graduates with small and medium sized businesses in
Cornwall. Investment in UCP through Objective One means that
participating businesses receive 30% of the cost of taking
on their graduate for the duration of the project. Graduates
and their employers also receive support from an independent
mentor, 70% of previous UCP graduates have been offered a
permanent position with their host company at the end of the
project. UCP was the first project launched by the Combined
Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative to offer direct
business support. It is managed by Cornwall College.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439