• A NEW potato packing and distribution centre has been opened by Cheshire firm Jepsons Potatoes.
The company invested £2m in new premises and facilities incorporating the latest electronic processing equipment at a 5ha (12-acre) site at Cranage, near Goostrey.
Jepsons is a big buyer of potatoes from growers in Shropshire, Staffordshire, Lincolnshire and Hereford and even Cornwall.
"Our expansion will enable us to take up the challenge of serving the biggest supermarket groups," says managing director, Geoff Morris. The move puts Jepson Potatoes among the UKs top 10 packers.
• IRISH firm Hermitage Pigs is joining forces with Dorset-based Seaborough Pigs.
The farmer-owned breeding companies, with 60 years of experience between them, say the doubling of research resources and economies of scale brought about by the merger will allow new company Hermitage Seaborough to challenge larger companies.
Hermitage already operates the largest AI service in Ireland, exporting semen to the USA and the far east.