company history

Fresh Produce direct to you

Nationwide Produce PLC is one of the largest, longest established and most diverse produce companies in UK.

What do we do? Well, just about everything in fresh produce. We grow it, we grade it, we pack it, we trade it, we import and we export… but above all we are importers.

Group turnover for financial year 2018-19 was £144m – 61% of this was produce we bought from outside the UK. Our customers are in every sector of the market – food-service, catering, processing, wholesale, export and retail – and want to be able to buy a full range of veg, fruit and exotics from around the World every day…whatever the circumstances. We provide this service to over 1,000 customers throughout Europe, every day of the year.

Whether you’re a caterer or a processor; whether you require potatoes or pomegranates – we’re here to serve you!

 1975 – Nationwide opens its doors

Established as Bernard O’Malley & Co in 1975, Nationwide started life as a Lancashire produce merchant based in Southport.

 1985 – name change

The name of the company was changed to Nationwide Produce PLC on 18th December 1985 to reflect our always-ambitious plans.

 1988 – Spalding office opens

The opening of the Spalding office in 1988 coincided with the establishment of Richmond Farms to focus on brand marketing to the catering and food-service sector.

 1991 – Broadacre Foods established

1991 saw our first foray into production with the opening of a factory in Lincolnshire to produce chilled prepared vegetable ingredients for the fast-expanding ready meal sector.

2000 – Broadacre Foods sold to Lingarden

Broadacre was sold to a large Lincolnshire packer in 2000 with a deal for NWP to continue procurement.

2000 – joint venture in Rotterdam

In 2000, Nationwide established a joint-venture procurement and sales company based in Rotterdam.

2004 – Vitaal Europe is launched

The success of this joint-venture led us to open our own procurement, storage and trans-shipping operation in 2004 called Vitaal Europe in Poeldijk near Rotterdam. Based on one of the largest fresh produce industrial estates in Europe, we now operate from our own large depot with ten loading docks and five cold-stores.

2006 – grower group formed

Richmond Farms formed a Grower Group in 2006 which now has 23 members and 37,000 tonnes of dedicated crops.

2007 – Vitaal Exotics division launched

In 2007 Nationwide established an exotics division to serve the growing demand for exotic produce in the food-service and catering sectors. This division is based at another hub of the produce industry – Evesham.

January 2009 – Nationwide Espana is launched

2009 was a busy year. The Group’s reach was extended to Southern Europe when Nationwide España was established on 1st January 2009. Nationwide España is based near El Ejido in the fertile growing province of Almeria, Spain.

February 2009 – Vitaal Europe Emmen office opens

On 1st February 2009 the Group extended its presence in the Netherlands with a new office in Emmen near the German border. The aim of this venture is specifically exports – to increase sales into Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltic States.

March 2009 – Belfast depot & office opens

In March 2009 we opened a new depot office in Belfast to specialise in potatoes. Initially, Belfast concentrated on the bulk potato and bag chipping potato business into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Over the last few years it has extended its range of products considerably as a result of which we have invested in cold-storage and distribution to further develop our business in Ireland.

January 2011 – Solvit Handling division launched

In 2011 we established Solvit Handling to provide handling not just for Vitaal Europe but for third-party companies also. Solvit is a separate division of the company and offers cold-storage, pallet-collation and order-picking services from our own depot in Poeldijk, NL.

September 2013 – Long Sutton opens

In September 2013 we made a £3m investment and started grading and packing onions at a 40,000 sq ft factory on 8 acres at Long Sutton, Lincs, UK.

November 2014 – Anglia Growing Partnership launched

In 2014 we transferred the Long Sutton production facility into Anglia Growing Partnership Ltd – a joint-venture between Nationwide and QV Foods. The AGP site now produces over a quarter of a million packs of onions per week.

May 2015 – Vitaal Fruit is launched

In May 2015 we launched our latest venture, Vitaal Fruit, from a new office in Kent. This wholly owned division of Nationwide will round off our supply portfolio by specialising in the direct importation of fruit from around the Globe.

2017 – New Spalding office opened

Due to expansion in early 2017, we purchased two offices in Spalding then joined them together to form a 400 sq mtr state-of-the-art trading facility. The office is based on the Pinchbeck Industrial Estate in Spalding which is home to a plethora of fresh produce and food manufacturing companies and one of the main hubs of the produce industry in the UK.

Jan 2018 – New Depot and office in Evehsam

We started business in Evesham back in 2007 with one guy in a small office selling just a few lines of imported exotic veg. We’ve grown the business considerably over the last few years and now have 24 staff and offer a full range of UK and imported products mainly to the food-service, export and secondary-wholesale sectors. Our cold-storage and pallet-collation was being carried out by third-parties. Having built the business to a level that justifies bringing these operations in-house, we have invested £2m in an ex-Wellpak depot on the Vale Park estate and a small fleet of lorries and vans. This will become our central cold-storage, pallet-collations and distribution hub for the UK

Jan 2018 – New office & cold-storage facilities in Almeria

Like Evesham, our business in Spain has grown considerably over the last few years. We’ve outgrown the offices in El Ejido and need more cold-storage space. The biggest greenhouse crop grower in the area is Godoy. The average size of greenhouse grower in the area is around 2 to 3 hectares – Godoy grows 200ha of greenhouse crops and has a grower group producing around a further 60ha for him. To cope with all this volume Godoy bought a huge 150,000 sq ft (14,000sq mtrs) packhouse recently in Almeria and offered us office space and the use of his packhouse for pallet-collation, labelling and cold-storage. He’s one of our biggest suppliers, we’re one of his biggest customers – it’s a healthy collaboration for both parties!

July 2019 – Additional Depot at Evesham

Only 18 months after buying our first depot in Evesham we’ve outgrown it. We were fortunate to find a bigger depot just down the road. The new site is fully refrigerated with 18 loading bays. Our plan is to double the size of the building with triple-racked coldstore chambers, new offices and a chefs’ development kitchen.

Jan 2021 – New Office in Dublin

Ireland has become our biggest export market from the UK and in the last financial year we supplied 55 customers throughout Ireland, many of them on a daily basis. “When we were preparing for Brexit, we soon realised that having our own trading company registered in Ireland could be advantageous,” said Group Managing Director, Tim O’Malley. “It would help reduce both time and cost on export documentation. It was a long and tedious process to set up a company in Dublin as the Irish government won’t simply accept a post box address – they insist on a physical office and proof you already carry out a sufficient level of business over there – but we got there in the end and NWP Ireland is now up and running in Dublin.”