Suffolk manufacturers help boom in fruit juice exports

Fruit and vegetable drinks manufacturers in Suffolk have helped the UK economy reach a record £65 million of overseas sales in 2014.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced the record breaking sum earlier this week, with juices made in Britain shipped to nearly 100 countries.

James White, the local fruit and vegetable juice manufacturer based in Helmingham Road, Asbocking, is one of the companies which has helped fuel the boom.

The company, famed for its Big Tom tomato juice and Beet It organic beetroot juice, has noticed an increase in their own exports.

Lawrence Mallinson, managing director of James White, said: “Currently there are a number of us doing well on exports, particularly as the pound has got stronger.

“For us it has come from nothing five years ago to about 20 per cent of our business, so it is certainly an area that’s growing.”

The company sells the Big Tom juice all over Europe, while the Beet It drink is supplied to the New Zealand All Blacks, professional ice hockey teams in Canada and women’s football teams across the world.

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Mr Mallinson added: “In general, the soft drinks and smoothies have all started to sell quite well all over the world. We have been steadily growing every year for the last 25 years so we are very hopeful next year will be good for our juices.”

The news is also promising for Bury St Edmunds-based juice makers Maynard House Orchard, which is looking to export into Asia this year.

Clive Williamson, director of the company said: “There is an enormous number of businesses that want to export and there is plenty of interest in China, Singapore and Hong Kong.

“We continue to grow at a very good pace, and we now have some opportunities in Asia for this year.”

Environment secretary Elizabeth Truss added: “This dramatic rise in demand for UK juiced fruit and veg is fantastic news for our growing economy, with 96 countries worldwide now enjoying our juices there’s potential for industry to drive sales even further.”