Scotland's largest vegetable growers sign merger deal

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East of Scotland Growers (ESG) and R&K Drysdale(RKD) are to merge
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East of Scotland Growers (ESG) and R&K Drysdale(RKD) are to merge

A major development in the field vegetable sector in Scotland has led to the merger of two of the country’s largest growing and marketing organisations.

A major development in the field vegetable sector in Scotland has led to the merger of two of the country's largest growing and marketing organisations.  

East of Scotland Growers (ESG) and R&K Drysdale (RKD) are to merge and an additional growing business, Pease Bay Farms has been created in a deal managed by Scottish law firm Thorntons.

ESG is a long established farmer-owned cooperative based in Cupar, Fife.

The 15 members of the group produce broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, carrots, onions, and asparagus on land in Fife, Angus, Perthshire, Kincardineshire and the Scottish Borders. In total they produce more than 2,428 hectares (6,000 acres) of brassicas on Scotland's fertile east coast.

RKD claims to be the UK's leading brussels sprout grower and packer, with one of the most sophisticated and high output grading, packing and storage facilities in Europe. In addition to brussels sprouts, RKD also grows and packs swedes and leeks at its state-of-the-art facilities in Berwickshire.

The merger will align Scotland's leading vegetable growers with the brassica packer and also complements the winter cropping of RKD with the summer cropping portfolio of ESG, creating a year-round operation.

Amalgamating the growing regions will further create opportunities for farmers in Berwickshire, Scottish Borders, Lothians, Fife, Angus, Kincardineshire and Perthshire through a not-for-profit farmers' cooperative.

Andrew Faichney, managing director of East of Scotland Growers, said: "This merger is very unique within Scotland and combines two firms with a longstanding history of high-quality produce.

"With a collective turnover approaching £50m, this merger provides stability and security for our membership and will provide an additional range of products and value to our customer base. 

"This is a very exciting development, not just for the ESG and RKD stakeholders, but also the entire fresh produce farming industry here in Scotland."

ESG and RKD have established Pease Bay Farms to grow brassica crops across more than 405 hectares (1,000 acres) of prime agricultural land, growing exclusively for the merger and joining ESG as a full member of a recognised producer organisation.

The merger deal was managed by Alistair Lang, Lead Partner in the Ventures and Innovation Team at Thorntons. 

 

 

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