Monthly Archives

August 2014

Fresh Produce Wholesale Markets

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Rush Group supply wholesale markets with a diverse product range including: potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, onions, spring onions, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, apples, garlic and sweet corn.

Rush understands that, in addition to providing a reliable 52 week supply of fresh produce, the key to a successful business relationship is communication. This well-connected and entrepreneurial group of wholesale clients have an excellent understanding of business and their industry as a whole. They therefore expect a similar level of professionalism and commitment from their suppliers too. Rush strives to make the lives of these busy people easier by supplying at the right price and quality whilst recognising their unique work schedules.

Another of Rush Group’s strengths is their far-reaching network of suppliers and growers which derives from their diverse product portfolio and professionalism in Fresh Produce. This means the Group are readily able to help any wholesaler who cannot find what they want or may be looking for a supply of an alternative product line. It is this approach that has helped maintain so many long-term business relationships within the wholesale market and also facilitate the development of new ones.

The wholesale customer base is spread throughout Great Britain, including wholesalers in Spitalfields, New Covent Garden and Western International in London, Smithfield Market in Manchester, The Wholesale Market Birmingham, St. James Wholesale Market Bradford, The Wholesale Market in Newcastle, Glasgow Wholesale Markets and Dublin Wholesale Market. Rush’s knowledge of international and regional supply chains along with their flexible approach means customers can choose to collect their own produce or have it delivered at a time which suits them.

The sectors that Rush Group’s wholesale customers supply: retail, hotels, catering, restaurants, armed forces, schools, universities and colleges, football clubs and major events.

So if you are a wholesaler looking for a reliable and consistent source of fresh produce delivered at the right time, the right quality and the right price, please contact Nat Bacon (onions and potatoes), Sam Crocker (sweet potatoes and butternut squash) or Andrew Chance (apples) today.

Meet Hajnalka Erdos

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Hajnalka, is part of Rush Group’s Eastern European team, originally from Hungary, she now works in Rush’s London office, but will soon be heading home to open the Group’s Hungarian office in Budapest.

What made you want to work in England in the fresh produce industry?

I originally came to England straight after university to work in both London and Bournemouth. This experience not only improved my English, but also intensified my ambition to work in England full time.

Following my return to Hungary, I started working for a supermarket supplier, mainly dealing with Tescos. I like the fact that in the fresh produce industry, no two days are the same, in this industry the weather and other conditions can have an instant and dramatic affect on the price and availability of crops.

How did you hear about Rush Group?

During my time working for the supermarket supplier, I started buying broccoli with my now colleague Justyna Wawrzynczyk. I loved the idea that this Polish lady was working for this British company, so I decided to write to Rush and see if there was any possibility of me working for them.

So what happened next?

I heard back from Sam Crocker, who knew I was going to Fruit Logistica in February 2013, so he suggested we meet up there.

How have you found your experience at Rush so far?

I have absolutely loved it, the whole team are so supportive and professional, you never feel alone, but at the same time the management give you the freedom to carve out your own business plan, which gives you a chance to really prove yourself.

You are going back home soon?

Yes I will be setting up the Rush office in Budapest, which will be really exciting, as well as bit daunting. However I know that I will have the full backing of Rush’s main office and the Group’s infrastructure, so hopefully it wont be too difficult.

What will you be trading in Budapest?

Alongside potatoes and the Group’s core product range, I will be looking to expand into exporting Hungarian sweet corn, both fresh and processed, to UK and Scandinavia. I am determined to make a success of it, and with all the training and assistance that Rush has provided me with, it is now just up to me.

If you are looking for a regular supply of fresh produce in or from Eastern Europe, please contact Hajnalka today.

Mongolian potatoes

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Rush Group has recently started growing their own crisping potatoes in Inner Mongolia, specifically for customers in South East Asia. After much research, the Group chose Baotou, for a number of reasons, including its climate, which is favourable, due to it being on the same latitude as Europe.

This Province, unlike those in Southern China, is large enough to allow farming on the scale that is required to serve the customer’s needs, but also due to the area’s climate, there are no new crops waiting to be planted once Rush’s potatoes have been harvested. This factor, again unlike Southern China, means there is no hurry to get the potatoes out of the ground, so Rush’s potatoes can be left in the earth for skin setting.

The growers were hand-picked by Rush and their customer to ensure that they had the correct experience, with a proven track record in being able to handle the quantity and quality of crisping potatoes both Rush and their client expected.

The crop, expected to be a healthy one is being closely monitored by Rush’s Asian Director Chris Lioe to ensure these crisping potatoes meet the exacting quality controls that lie ahead. The varieties being grown are Atlantic and Rosetta and Chris is being sent photographs every week, he will then visit Baotou six weeks before the crop is ready for harvest, to organise transport, warehousing, grading, packing and shipping. He will then return again to oversee the harvest of these potatoes, before they are exported to the customer.

If you are looking for a reliable source of crisping potatoes, please contact Chris Lioe today

Slovenia, a growing market for fresh produce

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With its advantageously located port Koper and its growing population of 2 million, Slovenia is proving to be of growing interest to Rush Group.

Slovenia’s major port Koper  is well placed for both imports and exports, especially as it is the shortest route to and from the Far East, to the heart of Europe. Koper’s position in Europe, has led to it becoming the leading port in the North Adriatic, increasing in popularity over Rijeka, Ravenna, Trieste and Venice.

In 2013 Koper imported from the Mediterranean, (particularly Israel and Egypt), the Far East and South America 23,000 teus and exported 18,000 teus to Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, the Far East and the Middle East.

It is no surprise then, that Rush has started to engage in some serious business in this region, and have partnered with local logistics company TPG Logistics, to ensure their customers receive their fresh produce at the right time, in the right condition and at the right price.

The Group is averaging 3 tonnes of potatoes a week in this region, and this only looks set to grow. One of the Group’s Eastern European team, Hajnalka Erdos, a native Hungarian, who deals with a lot of the fresh produce that goes through Slovenia, says: “ I think a lot of Eastern European customers and growers are really surprised to hear an Eastern European accent, when they phone a British company, but I think it definitely helps build a rapport. Britain is still seen as a supplier of quality fresh produce by a lot of Eastern Europeans, and that is where I am seeing the largest growth, but obviously I still need to make sure that even our top end fresh products are still competitively priced.”

Rush Group is confident that with ever-increasing ties with Slovenia and the rest of Eastern Europe, that due to their ‘on the ground’ approach and ability to supply the best quality products at a competitive price, business can only increase.

Organics – naturally good business

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Rush Group has been involved in the marketing of organic produce for many years, particularly potatoes, and whilst demand for organic produce has generally slowed in recent years, Rush is still creating markets both domestically and internationally.

Rush continues to supply customers in the UK with organic salad and tableware potatoes from their trusted network of growers in United Kingdom, Ireland, Holland, France, Germany, Egypt and Israel. Rush also exports UK organic produce to customers in Europe and Ireland.

Rush Group’s comprehensive understanding of the organic accreditation systems, in particular those of the Soil Association (of which they are members) is highly attractive to growers and customers alike. This industry knowledge ensures that there is complete traceability from field to fork, which translates into a clear provenance for every organic potato they supply. With a Rush organic potato, you can easily trace where it has come from and you can follow every step of its journey.

Rush has a broad and wide-reaching network of international organic farmers, meaning that it is possible to find the exact specification required by the client. This expertise in organics is further enhanced by their reliable service, and their ability to deliver the right product, at the right time and at the right price.

Recently Rush Group has started to expand their organic range, to include other products from their core range, including onions, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and carrots.

If you are looking for a dependable supply of organic produce 52 weeks a year please contact James Bulford today.


Corn on the Cob

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Rush Group has recently, through its Hungarian office, started to trade Hungarian sweet corn. Hungary is one of Europe’s largest sweet corn producers, production in the EU is 70,000 hectares, and Hungary grows almost half of this area, with the majority of the balance being grown by France and Spain. However, up until now the United Kingdom has imported little Hungarian sweet corn, favouring Spain and France instead.

Hungary’s sweet corn is mainly grown in the country’s south and northeastern regions. These regions provide the  long growing seasonthat is required for sweet corn production, and an arid climate that reduces the incidence of foliar diseases. Adequate seedbed moisture is necessary for seed germination, making it necessary in dry years to irrigate the field prior to planting. Soil temperature must be warm (12°C) for the seed to germinate.

In the autumn the ground is prepared, this includes ploughing or chiseling after the harvest of the preceding crop, then the fields are roller harrowed. In the following spring, fertilizer and pre-plant herbicides are applied. The ground is disked and harrowed again to incorporate the herbicides.

Irrigation is essential for sweet corn production, and about 600 mm of water is applied during the growing season. Irrigation is on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule, depending on crop requirements and amount of spring precipitation. In an average year, about 6 applications of water are made to sweet corn during the growing season. Sweet corn reaches maturity in about 100 days. Following harvest, the corn stalks and stubble are chopped and disked into the soil in preparation for the following crop.

Hungary traditionally exports a lot of its sweet corn, 87% to be precise, to Germany, Sweden and Finland. Hungarian sweet corn quality  easily matches the quality of French and Spanish sweet corn, which is mainly used by the canning industry in these countries, as well as with the retail packers in The Netherlands and Switzerland. So why do these countries import Hungarian sweet corn and we don’t? It cannot be down to price, as Hungarian sweet corn is actually on the whole, more competitively priced, even when taking the extra transport costs into consideration.

Hungarian sweet corn growing season also has the advantage of being available 6 weeks ahead of the UK’s normal suppliers (mid June to end of July), making it the perfect alternative option for when other countries’ production of sweet corn is not  available.

So what are you waiting for, the sun is out… throw some Hungarian sweet corn on the BBQ.

If you are interested in good quality, competitively priced sweet corn, please contact Hajnalka Erdos today.