Friday, July 3, 2020

Northamptonshire fresh fruit giant maintains supplies with CLBILS loan

Fresh fruit company, Blue Skies, has secured a seven-figure loan from HSBC UK through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) to ensure continuity throughout its supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Founded in 1997, Blue Skies, which is headquartered in Pitsford, Northamptonshire, provides fresh-from-harvest fruit to major retailers across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. During peak seasons, the company employs up to 5,000 people and exports approximately 80 tonnes of fresh fruit per day, made up of 220 product lines.

As a large exporter of consumer goods, the company has taken action to retain its skilled staff, support farmers and invest in logistics during these challenging times to ensure continuity across its entire supply chain, and most importantly, provide its customers with a consistent supply of fresh fruit. The funding from HSBC UK will assist Blue Skies in pivoting its distribution model, as it takes necessary steps to reduce the impact of supply chain disruptions.

Anthony Pile, Chairman and Founder of Blue Skies Ltd, said: “As a company that relies on a fluid supply chain to get our fresh-from-harvest products to market, the challenges caused by COVID-19 have led to us implementing important measures across our entire logistical programme. I would like to thank the team at HSBC UK, including our Relationship Director Nick Clements, for being supportive and understanding the unique challenges faced by our business in the UK and our export markets during these uncertain times.”

Simon Pyatt, HSBC UK Area Director South Midlands Corporate Banking, added: “Blue Skies has a responsibility to the customers and communities it serves, more so than ever during these difficult times. We were delighted to provide additional support to the company as they continue to keep retailers’ shelves stocked and provide the public with access to fresh fruit.”

In April 2020, Blue Skies was awarded its fourth Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Sustainable Development category, in recognition of the company’s sustainability plan.

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