October 2018: Chambers, one of the UK’s leading independent berry growers, announces a significant expansion of the grower network that enables the business to deliver a year-round field to fork berry offering to its customers – which includes listings in many of the major multiples.
The business currently home produces berries and stone fruit across 14 locations in the UK but outside of the domestic growing season, berries are sourced from collaborative growers around the world to ensure a seamless 52-week supply (Chambers supplies over 90% of own fruit production direct to the customer). This grower network has now risen to 17 countries, representing a 100% increase on the previous year and includes Mexico, Guatemala, South America, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Romania, Serbia, Poland, Ukraine and some of the newer regions that have witnessed investment such as Zimbabwe and Kenya.
Chambers specialises in raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, cherry and more recently blueberry production and has worked tirelessly over the last 4 years to identify overseas partner growers who share the company’s commitment to outstanding quality and innovation.
Commenting on the strengthened network of partner growers, Managing Director Tim Chambers said, “Chambers was first established in 1950 and has grown from a family business to become one of the largest independent cane growers in the UK, with a production area spanning 400 hectares (1000 acres) and propagating 1.5m plants per annum (for production in the UK and selected European sites). Whilst the business has expanded, our founding principles – which focus on quality, provenance, traceability and supplying the freshest berries direct from the farm – remain true. The extended network of growers means that we are well-placed to service the needs of the UK, as well as overseas market, with exports showing a 218% year on year increase. Our ability to ship out our product on the same day as it is picked (or in the case of product arriving from our partner growers, on the same day as arrival to the UK port) means that our produce enjoys a longer shelf life, represents lower food miles and fits with our customer’s desire to reduce their carbon footprint. Balance this with the fact that our lean supply chain means a reduction in costs and the Chambers proposition represents an attractive offer, especially since according to industry sources, berry sales have risen by 132% in the UK over the last 10 years and the category is predicted to be worth almost £2bn by 2020 (source: Kantar).”