Boss bows out after 21 years

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THE Spalding-based boss of UNIVEG UK – which formerly traded in the town as Malet Azoulay – is retiring after 21 years as managing director.

Richard Wells (53) founded Malet Azoulay with Beryl Skinner and Mike Harpham and developed the company into one of the UK’s major suppliers of exotics and stone fruit with an annual turnover of more than £80 million.

Richard was a friend of Jacques Azoulet and founded the UK branch to extend the French company’s activities into this country.

Although stepping down as MD, Richard will retain a role with UNIVEG working in parts of the world where the company wants to develop greater activity.

His successor in Spalding is David Prince, who joins the business from the Produce World Group where, as divisional managing director, he was responsible for three companies with a combined turnover of £100 million.

Mr Wells said: “Given the recent changes in our market, it was good that the UNIVEG group acquired Malet Azoulay in the UK. The global strength and vertically integrated production approach of the group has opened new channels of activity for us and I am proud to leave the company in a strong financial position with an excellent team and good prospects for future growth.”