Two of Scotland's longest established grower organisations merge

The two grower organisations currently have a collective turnover of around £50 million
The two grower organisations currently have a collective turnover of around £50 million

Two of Scotland’s longest established fresh produce organisations have completed a merger and created an additional growing business.

East of Scotland Growers (ESG) and R&K Drysdales (RKD) have merged in a bid to create further opportunities for Scottish growers.

The two organisations currently have a collective turnover of around £50 million.

Key UK producers for their respective cropping, both groups have independently grown their businesses over recent years.

They explain that the merger, which will amalgamate the growing regions, will provide new opportunities for farmers in Berwickshire, Scottish Borders, Lothians, Fife, Angus, Kincardineshire and Perthshire.

ESG and RKD have also established a new business - Pease Bay Farms - to grow brassica crops across more than 1,000 acres, growing exclusively for the merger.

A farmer owned co-op based in Fife, ESG is a collective of 15 growers who produce crops including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, carrots, onions, and asparagus.

The farms are based in Fife, Angus, Perthshire, Kincardinshire and the Scottish Borders – producing more than 6,000 acres of brassicas on Scotland’s fertile east coast.

RKD is one of the UK’s leading Brussels sprout grower and packer, with sophisticated and high output grading, packing and storage facilities.

In addition to Brussels sprouts, RKD also grow and pack swede and leeks at their facility in Berwickshire.

Andrew Faichney, managing director of Scotland Growers, said the merger was 'very unique' within Scotland, and combined two firms with "a longstanding history of high-quality produce".

He said: "This merger provides stability and security for our membership and will provide an additional range of products and value to our customer base.

“This is a very exciting development not just for the ESG and RKD stakeholders, but the entire fresh produce farming industry here in Scotland.”

The merger deal was managed by Alistair Lang, lead partner in the ventures at Thorntons.

He said: “Agriculture is a vital contributing sector to the Scottish economy and effective and strategic partnerships are key component to its ongoing success.

"With both ESG and RKD achieving great things, facilitating the merger and creation of Pease Bay Farms can only be positive for the industry.”