Julia Darvill and Phil Acock in an orchard

Source: Puratos UK

Puratos UK’s Julia Darvill and Fourayes’ Phil Acock

Puratos UK has acquired fruit grower and processor Fourayes for an undisclosed sum.

Kent-based Fourayes supplies fruit fillings, jams, and mincemeat to industry which are manufactured at its 100-acre orchard. The site will complement Puratos’ existing fillings capabilities at Simonswood in Lancashire, further expanding its offer of locally produced ingredients to customers, it said.

Fourayes managing director and third generation owner Phil Acock will remain in a non-executive role at the company but will pass over ownership to Puratos on completion of the acquisition.

The Fourayes farm and factory are surrounded by English Bramley apple orchards, with fellow Red Tractor suppliers of British-grown fruits in close proximity. Its location in Kent makes it ideally placed for branching out to the European market, with potential opportunities to bring the Fourayes range to the wider Puratos Group, it added.

Puratos said the acquisition underlines its commitment to its local and transparent fruit sourcing programme which aims to embed sustainability through the entire value chain, from sourcing of raw materials to usage of products by customers and consumers.

Julia Darvill, managing director at Puratos UK and Ireland, said the business was delighted to welcome Fourayes into the Puratos family.

They first teamed up February on a four-strong range of fruit and vegetable pieces called Utterly Fruity. Comprising Bramley apple, cranberry, carrot and beetroot, the quartet can be used in bakery applications such as speciality breads and cakes, Puratos UK said.

“We found Fourayes to be an ideal fit for Puratos, both being family-run, customer-focused, heritage-rich businesses with innovation, people and traceability at their core. We are committed to upholding and building on Fourayes’ reputation as a first-class farm and factory and look forward to a fruitful future,” Darvill added.

Acock, who is also vice chairman of industry association British Apples and Pears, added: “We wholly believe that together, we are stronger, and the bringing together of these two ingredient powerhouses has untold potential. I am confident that the synergies between Puratos and Fourayes will unlock further growth and value for our customers and help them to cater to the call for healthy options, transparency, and integrity from increasingly conscientious consumers.”