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Forrest Fresh Foods scures £1.2m for expansion

Forrest Fresh Foods has secured a £1.2m funding deal through Barclays to support the expansion of its Rochdale-based wholesale business.

Established in 1996 as a fruit and vegetable supplier by John Forrest and Nichola Forrest, the company now supplies a vast variety of soft drinks and confectionery - including Pepsi, Mars, Coca-Cola, Rubicon and S.Pellegrino - to national companies.

This year, the firm's product portfolio grew to also include toiletries and household goods, pet care products and groceries, with plans to introduce licensed and medical produce.

In addition to this, the group's export service has seen strong growth delivering some of the world’s leading brands to businesses across the globe.

Managing Director Chris Craven said, “We’ve been growing organically since we started out in 1996 and have worked alongside Barclays for many years. This new funding deal has enabled us to invest in new plant and distribution to support our rapid expansion plans.

'We’re thrilled that Barclays has been able to support us with very tailored funding solutions for our continued growth plans and to take the business to the next level of our trading ambitions.”

The company employs 46 people and has reported another good trading year with turnover increasing by 28% to £36.46m (2017: £28.54m).

The group has won the International Company of the Year (£25m - £50m turnover) at the North West Business Insider International Trade Awards, sponsored by Barclays.

Shamir Patel, Barclays Relationship Director put together the funding package for the deal and said, “Forrest Fresh Foods is a great example of a thriving business that is expanding for the future and contributing to the local economy.

'The new funding from our Northern Powerhouse fund has enabled the company to invest in critical areas that are needed to support the business’ growth ambitions.”