Orchard Valley Foods has entered into a strategic partnership with another specialist ingredients business Confection by Design Limited.

The firm said the deal would create a “major new force” in the supply of confection ingredients, decorations and inclusions to UK and European markets.

It will see Orchard Valley (OVF) become the exclusive sales, marketing and distribution partner for Confection by Design (CBD) products to food manufacturers, foodservice, homebake, restaurant groups and quick-service restaurants.

Confection by Design manufactures fudge pieces, butterscotches, caramel and flavoured crisp pieces, and honeycomb in various sizes, combined with chocolate or barrier coatings as required, while Orchard Valley distributes food and confectionery ingredients, inclusions and decorations.

Rob Whitehead, chief executive officer, Confection by Design, said: “CBD and OVF will be working together to deliver the technical support, new product ideas, and great customer service which both businesses are already renowned for. We’ll be reaching a wider audience, and adding depth and breadth to the specialist confections portfolio.”

Mike Forrester, managing director, said: “There are a number of shared customers to make for a smooth handover, but also an enormous potential to introduce the Confection by Design range to other OVF customers and markets, in a multitude of pack sizes via the OVF packing facilities.”

The retail products and business of CBD is unaffected by the agreement, which takes effect from 7 May 2013.