Integrated potato supply chain specialists AKP Group based in North Lincolnshire, has completed the acquisition of Wolds Produce, based in York.

Established in 1999 by Richard Arundel and Bruce Kerr, Arundel Kerr Produce Ltd. (AKP Group) is a potato grower and supply chain specialist.

Wolds Produce was set up as a potato trading business in 2004, offering crops from the Yorkshire Wolds region to packers.

The company has since grown to become a major potato supplier into the crisping, chipping and potato seed industries, and currently trades over 50,000t of potatoes in the UK and abroad.

Potato supply chain

The primary objective of AKP Group has said that its primary objective is to collaborate closely with its network of growers and partners to deliver the best quality potatoes to its customers across the retail, processing and food service sectors in the UK and overseas.

At the same time it said it will strive to improve profitability, raise standards and maintain a highly efficient supply chain.

By combining the expertise, resources and experience of the AKP Group and Wolds Produce, the companies have said that they can achieve economies of scale.

The complementary partnership aims to drive innovation and build a stronger, more resilient supply chain, ultimately contributing to the growth of the UK potato industry.

AKP said that this is becoming increasingly important as the number of potato growers has reduced in recent years, as a result of escalating production costs and changing weather patterns, both of which increase risks for growers.

The integration of the joint operations will be seamless according to the company, ensuring that growers and partners continue to receive uninterrupted service from Wolds Produce and AKP Group – from variety and seed selection, to new contracting opportunities, as well the utilisation of superior grading and storage facilities.

Richard Arundel, managing director of AKP Group said: “We are thrilled to welcome Wolds Produce into the AKP Group.

“By combining our respective services and scaling up our operation across storage, washing, grading and distribution, we can help our growers and partners to minimise risk, reduce their costs and make it happen for UK farming.

“At AKP Group, we take pride in being flexible and responding to the changing needs of the industry.

“This acquisition represents a strategic step towards realising our vision of becoming the go-to partner within the UK’s potato industry,” he added.

Wolds Produce

Wolds Produce is also one of the largest independent seed producers in the UK, supplying high-quality seed to businesses across the country, and supplying potatoes into many of the UK’s well-known crisp manufacturers.

Tim Foggin, managing director at Wolds Produce, added: “AKP Group is one of the largest potato growers in the country and so naturally, it boasts a team of highly experienced and knowledgeable individuals who will only enhance our operation further.

“The culture and forward-thinking nature of AKP Group aligns with our own values, and we look forward to merging our expertise and consolidating our respective strengths.”

The group said that Wolds Produce will continue to operate independently under AKP Group, and all employees will retain their current roles.