Veg firm eyes growth and new jobs

New MD: Mark Newton
New MD: Mark Newton

The new managing director of snack salad and vegetable specialists Freshtime UK says the company is ripe for growth.

Former Florette chief executive Mark Newton has set out ambitious plans for growth – which he believes will see the creation of jobs – after taking over at the Boston firm.

Mr Newton, who left the Florette Group after 13 years, said: “Freshtime is a business I’ve known and kept my eye on for many years. Our product range and our production capabilities are bang on trend – we specialise in fresh, convenience food and snacking products. One of my main goals is to help it develop from a fantastic operation into a world-class business.”

Freshtime was initially set up as part of a growers’ co-operative but now supplies chilled, value-added, ready-to-eat salads, snacks, prepared vegetables and sandwich fillers to leading multiple retailers and food service operators.

Mr Newton’s first objective will be to exploit the untapped potential he identifies within the firm.

“What we do, and have been doing for some time, is right at the heart of current trends: street food, fresh produce and food on the go,” he said. “Freshtime is a successful, growing business and because of our size we’ve also got the flexibility to innovate. Many of the larger corporates talk about innovation but in reality it takes them a year to get a product from initial concept to market. Because we’re smaller, more nimble, we can innovate much more quickly and respond to market trends.”

He foresees expansion and growth and has no doubt that new jobs will be created at Freshtime’s site in Boston. The company currently employs 350 people.

“This is a great time for me to have got on board and everyone here is up to the challenge of taking this business forward,” he said. “We have a fantastic team here but the door is open to new people to come on board and help us to grow. We will be developing the workforce, creating jobs in a new structure and continuing to invest in the site itself.”