Vegetable firm’s owner says quality staff have made it region’s fastest growing business

Carrot growing.
Carrot growing.
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Spalding vegetable producer is the region’s fastest growing business

Chris Eley Produce Ltd, of Kellet Gate, Low Fulney, has taken the number one spot for profit growth this year in the annual East Midlands Top 200 Report.

The firm specialises in growing, preparing and distributing vegetables, fruit and horticultural produce.

The report has been prepared by business and financial advisers Grant Thornton, in partnership with the CBI and details the region’s top 200 best performing companies.

Owner Chris Eley said: “We are very, very pleased about this. But it is the people we employ who have achieved this success.”

Chris Eley Produce employs 70 full-time staff and between 40 and 50 seasonal staff.

Mr Eley said: “We have good quality staff and our success has been achieved by all of us.”

It shows that the East Midlands’ 200 best performing businesses have grown profits by an average of 31.6 per cent per year.

Together they have an operating profit of £736 million, employ 63,045 people, and turnover a total of £12.8 billion - a growth of 58.3% in the last three years.

Grant Thornton partners Phil Sayers said: “The 200 companies who have made it onto our list this year have excelled in beating the competition in one of the highest growth parts of one of the fastest growing developed economies in the world.

“These companies truly showcase the strength of the local economy and are a great snapshot of what the East Midlands has to offer.”

CBI director-general, Carolyn Fairbairn, said: “Scale-up firms are the unsung heroes of the UK economy – creating jobs, increasing investment and driving exports internationally.

“With seven out of ten of these companies located outside London, supporting entrepreneurial and innovative firms to grow can really help drive prosperity across the UK, as shown here in the East Midlands.

“There’s more we can do to back entrepreneurs and support the true potential of scale-ups. This is why the CBI is calling for more support for quality skills training and entrepreneurs’ relief extended to long-term investors.”

The report states that manufacturing and services continue to be the two fastest growing sectors in the region and represent 48 per cent of the companies in the report.