Monthly Archives

March 2014

An agronomist – ensuring the right quality of fresh produce 365 days a year

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The role of an agronomist is defined in the dictionary as: ‘an expert in soil management and field-crop production expert’, whilst this is undoubtedly true, in reality an agronomist does so much more.

Rush Group’s agronomist and technical director Jose Nazare adds a valuable input that ensures that every item of fresh produce is grown in and to the right standards and arrives at the clients in the best possible condition. Jose has a degree in agronomy and he travels around the world, dealing with Rush Group’s core product range of potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, onions, cauliflowers, broccoli and apples.

So how does he do this?


The Group’s growers need to meet Rush’s exacting standards before they can start supplying them with fresh produce. Jose thoroughly assesses the quality of the products they grow as well as their adherence to the appropriate certification including GlobalGap, Assured Produce and BRC. Jose also, where necessary, ensures that growers also maintain the correct ethical standards.

Where growers have their own cold storage, Jose also checks that he is happy with its condition.


Getting their fresh produce delivered at peak condition is one of Rush’s main priorities; their agronomist Jose’s technical knowledge ensures that all fresh produce is transported at the correct temperature, meaning that certain vegetables cannot be packed in the same lorry. For example potatoes need to be kept at 7°C, where as sweet potatoes and butternut squash both require 12°C.


Rush Group’s customers can rely on them to be able to provide a full traceability report should the ever need one, Jose’s skill allows him to trace all Rush’s produce from the field to the supermarket shelf, and in reverse should it be required.

Jose’s role at Rush Group is indispensable, as without him the Group could not deliver its promise of delivering a reliable source of fruit and vegetables, at the right rime and at the right price.

Why SE Asians are hungry for potatoes

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Consumption of potatoes and potato products is growing rapidly in South East Asia. A lack of locally grown potatoes suitable for processing has meant that processed potato products are mostly imported, while fresh potatoes are grown locally or regionally

In South East Asia, a rice-based culture, the potato was largely unknown or a novelty food amongst the indigenous populations until only a few decades ago. While per capita potato consumption is still relatively small by international standards, both fresh table potatoes and processed potato products (especially chips and crisps) are becoming increasingly popular in the region. This demand has also increased for a number of other reasons; the ever-growing number of expats living in the region, plus the use of processed potato as a thickener in traditional South East Asian cooking.

Rush Group’s experience in shipping potatoes across the world has helped them grow strong business ties in this region and help meet the increasing demand.

The humble potato is becoming a staple in this region’s diet, a fact that is backed by Rush Group’s programme to ship 20,000 tonnes to this region in 2014.

For more information on Rush Group’s involvement in South East Asia, please contact David Ough.


Meet Tom Ebdon

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Tom is one of the Rush Group’s newest recruits. Here he lets us know why working at Rush is his (almost) perfect job

What did you do before joining Rush?

I was studying countryside management at Harper Adams in Shropshire

So you have always been interested in agriculture?

Yes, I grew up in various parts of the countryside, as my father was in the RAF, but I can’t say that farming has been an Ebdon tradition. However I was a member of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust where I worked on a demonstration farm, growing vegetables that I now sell.

What attracted you to Rush Group?

I was attracted to working for a company that, as our company strapline states: works with fresh produce ‘From Seed to Sale’. I really liked the fact that I would be involved throughout the food chain, as well as working with a company that has a network of offices throughout the world.

Putting modesty aside, why do you think you got the job?

Difficult to say, but people say I am conscientious, tenacious and hard working.

Describe your average day

I am normally in the office at around 7.30am as I need to deal with the Singapore markets, where I am involved with a wide-variety of products. Then it’s onto the Middle East and Europe, helping David with all of his potato business. By the end of the afternoon I am normally speaking to the Caribbean, as they are in love with potatoes. By 7.30 pm I leave the office, exhausted but happy that my job (while it is hard work) is varied and most of all rewarding, which is really what a perfect job should be, even if the hours are long!

Supplying The Caribbean with top quality fresh produce

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Rush Group has recently started re-supplying the Caribbean Islands, especially Barbados with fresh produce. These islands import a large proportion of their fruit and vegetables, often go to Dutch and Canadian sources for their fresh produce, but it seems that Rush’s ability to supply of a wide variety of top quality fresh produce has caught their attention.

Rush Group sources all its produce, including a wide variety of potatoes and onions mainly from Europe, as well as supplying the Caribbean with garlic from China. The Group is relatively well known in these islands, and due to its ability to supply the right quality and variety of fresh produce at the right time and at the right price, means that their business is only going to grow and grow through word of mouth and positive recommendations.

If you are looking for fresh produce supplier who can consistently and reliably supply the Caribbean with top quality fresh produce, please contact Tom Ebdon today.

Investment in marketing – good news for growers and customers alike

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Why are you receiving this newsletter?  A good question.

Rush Group has recently updated their website (, invested in e-shot software and entered the world of social media. Why? Because they are committed to working with best growers in order to supply their customers with a reliable source of fresh produce at the right time and at the right price. So how do their new marketing systems achieve this?


The new website has been built with search engine optimisation in mind, which in real terms means that when a customer or supplier searches for say – broccoli in Google, our new website will help Rush score more highly in the results that Google displays. More importantly this means that growers looking for a market for their crop and customers looking for the right supplier can find Rush more quickly and efficiently than before.

Due to the international nature of the Group’s business, the new website is now also in French and German. Rush chose these languages, as they relate to a wide number in their client base, alongside reflecting some of the languages spoken in their offices around the world.


You may have already received one of Rush Group’s e-shots; these are a simple fast and effective way of letting customers know what they have for them and for informing growers what they need. With their detailed and flexible database system, the Group can target exactly who and where to send their e-shots, meaning that they do not fill up your in-box with irrelevant information.


Social media

The fresh produce industry has now taken social media to its heart. Rush Group are now on Twitter and Facebook – so why not follow Rush and/or like Rush and keep up to date with all the latest industry news.


Sweet Potatoes – the healthy choice

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Rush is currently packing sweet potatoes for two major supermarkets. These vegetables are becoming increasingly popular, partly due to their amazing health properties.
Here are five ways eating them can help you:

1. They are high in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. High levels of homocysteine have been linked with degenerative diseases and increased incidence of heart attacks.

2. They are a good source of vitamin C. While most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, few people are aware that this crucial vitamin plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity, and is essential to helping us cope with stress. It even appears to help protect our body against toxins that may be linked to cancer.

3. They contain Vitamin D that is critical for the immune system and overall health at this time of year. Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. You may have heard about seasonal affective disorder (or SAD, as it is also called), which is linked to inadequate sunlight and therefore a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.

4. Sweet potatoes contain iron. Most people are aware that we need the mineral iron to have adequate energy, but iron plays other important roles in our body, including red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper immune functioning, and the metabolizing of protein, among other things.
5. Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium, which is purported to be the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function.

If you are looking for reliable supply of these healthy vegetables,contact Sam today