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Newmafruit ‘Best in Show’ for the second year running

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Newmafruit Farms Cameo entry in Class 10 at the National Fruit Show, has won the coveted NFU South East ‘Best Exhibit of Apples or Pears in the Show’.  The entry of Cameo grown in Lower Downham orchard at Bekesbourne gained a magnificent 99 points from a maximum 100.  The entry of Cameo apple also came second in the National Fruit Show ‘Tastiest Apple’ just behind the winning variety Rubens.

Newmafruit’s prize list includes: the Richard Hochfeld Cup for the winning entry of Kanzi, Cornwallis Cup for Cameo, NFU South East Best in Show Award, Roderic Sarson Memorial Trophy for the best all round exhibit, Stokes Bomford Rose Bowl for Best Exhibit of Dessert Apples and the Fruiterers Company Medal for Dessert Apples.

The winning Cameo will be taken by the National Fruit Show Chairman, Sarah Calcutt to Buckingham Palace where HM The Queen will enjoy the delicious flavour and fantastic eating of the Cameo variety.  The same apple also won ‘Kent’s Tastiest Apple’ as part of the Taste of Kent Awards.  The competition sponsored by BTF Partnership saw a panel taste over 60 different apples from around Kent.

Deatils of all the winners from the National Fruit Show can be found on their website and all remaining Taste of Kent Award winners will be announced in February.

Newmafruit ‘Best in Show’ at the 2014 National Fruit Show

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Newmafruit Farms Ltd walked away with the ultimate prize – The Covent Garden Prize for the Best Exhibit of Apples or Pears in the Show.

The Cameo entered in Class 10 was awarded 99.25 points out of a possible 100.  The near perfect apple was then up against RD Applegrowers Rubens entry which also gained 99.25 points.  The National Fruit Show ‘Rule 16′ then came in to play.  The rule states that both scorecards are examined and the winner is determined by eliminating the first exhibit that loses a point, which in this case was the Rubens.

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Newmafruit Ltd will be able to display a large amount of silver over the coming months having also won the Roderick Sarson Memorial Tropy, Stoke Bomford Rose Bowl and The Fruiterers Medal for Best Exhibit of Dessert Apples.

As the winning Cameo in Class 10, Tony Frankham and Mike Barnett picked up the Cornwallis Cup and Norman Collett Prize on behalf of the company.

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Newmafruit also won Class 3 Kanzi winning the Richard Hochfeld Cup and the Richard Hochfeld Prize.

John Deere tractors join Newmafruit fleet

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Newma Fruit tractor fleet A

Established in 1973, Newmafruit Farms is one of the largest fruit growers and fruit packing operations in the UK, supplying all the major retailers, with a commitment to delivering quality produce with excellent service – qualities they also look for in their own suppliers.

Following a demonstration and competitive tendering process, the business recently bought eight new John Deere 5080GF 80hp fruit tractors on a John Deere Financial deal from Kent dealer Burden Bros Agri Ltd of Stockbury, with additional PowerGard Protection & Maintenance cover.

Based near Canterbury in east Kent, Newmafruit Farms Ltd and Newmafruit International Ltd manage over 526ha (1300ac) of orchard and soft fruit production, with extensive warehousing, storage and packing facilities. The company handles over 60,000 tonnes of product a year, the majority of which consists of 26 varieties of apple and six of pear, plus cherries, plums and soft fruit.

“Continuously improving our operation is a key driver for our business, whether by investment in people, facilities, equipment or processes,” says Newmafruit managing director Tony Frankham. “We’ve had maintenance problems with some of our tractors in the past, and when we decided to upgrade part of the fleet we wanted to avoid any unnecessary service and maintenance costs as far as possible. We were therefore looking for robust tractors with overall build quality and reliable service back-up from the dealer”.

“We had looked at previous John Deere tractor models, and they appeared to be good machines, but we felt that they were relatively expensive. Generally, the perception was that John Deere was more of an arable tractor, rather than designed specifically for fruit production”.

“However, there’s no point in having a cheaper tractor if the service costs are higher; you have constant problems and the after-sales service is poor – all of these things are important factors. John Deere and the dealer, Burden Bros Agri, ultimately proved that they had the right product for us, available at a competitive cost with finance, and with good, reliable dealer back-up. The PowerGard package also helped seal the deal as a means of managing our overall fleet costs more effectively.”

Altogether Newmafruit operates around 30 tractors up to 90hp. The new 5080GF models will be used mainly for spraying, as well as with front-mounted pulverisers and a new Kirkland Triprop Combi trailed sprayer/mower (as pictured). All eight tractors feature a high specification transmission, for extra durability, and two models were ordered with a front linkage and PTO (Power Take-Off) to take the farm’s existing attachments.

“We actually saw the 5080GF for the first time on static display at a BIFGA members’ meeting that we hosted last summer, just before the Fruit Focus event, where the tractor was also being demonstrated,” says Newmafruit farm manager Tim Hall. “Our initial enquiry was followed up by on-farm demonstrations using two machines supplied by Burden Bros Agri, so that we could have a closer look at the machines working in our own conditions. Once we were satisfied that John Deere was offering the best all-round tractor for our needs, we confirmed the order with delivery planned for February 2013.

“Our spraying programme runs every seven days in rotation from May to September, so the tractors are constantly on the go right through the summer, working around 1200 to 1400 hours a year. The operators often work 12 hour days without a break, so the cab is effectively their office – the tractors need to be comfortable and easy to operate, with low noise levels and high quality wheel rims and tyres.

“We’ve already established a good working relationship with Burden Bros Agri, too. Things don’t always run smoothly with machinery, so it’s important how the dealer reacts when there’s a problem. A couple of initial niggles have been dealt with very professionally, and sorted out quickly, which is what we’ve come to expect from dealing with John Deere.”

Huge Electricity Savings in First Year

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Refrigeration plants require the highest demand on the national grid as well as being extremely pricey.

Energy prices are constantly rising and that is why Newmafruit has been working with STS, who are looking at ways of reducing the power requirements of expensive storage units.

Our site in Canterbury has a limited amount of power available. Therefore enlisting ICA and STS at Howfields was required when the existing cold store units needed to be expanded since Newmafruits partnership with Co-op.

From 1999, regular intervals of new storage units have been added to the site, with investments running from around £600,000 to £1m in the time between 2002 and 2012.

Since 2002, Newmafruit produced approximately 16,000 to 17,000 bins a year. This has since increased to 32,000 home produced bins a year. Improvements have been made in that time by replacing plantings with money saving, fast cropping, high quality varieties.

It was with Mike Barnet that breaking down the costs of each storage unit began and
looked to ICA and STS to deliver cost savings in the refurbishment.

‘The Fruit Grower’, October 2012

Changes in senior management at Newmafruit

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Melvyn Newman, Chairman and Managing Director of Newmafruit Farms Ltd and Newmafruit International, has announced that he will be standing down as Managing Director of both companies on 31 October. He will remain as Chairman but will step back from involvement in day-to-day activities.

Tony Frankham, currently Commercial Director, is to take up the position of Managing Director with effect from 1st November, and Derek Peter will become Company Secretary.

Courtesy of The Fruit grower, October 2012.

UPDATE: Tony Frankham was Managing Director of Newmafruit from 2012 to 2016.

As of 2014, Derek Peter is no longer with Newmafruit.

ICA refurbishment saves Newmafruit 35%

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Newmafruit is pleased to secure huge energy savings thanks to ICA and their energy saving technology.

In the tough economic climate, ICA’s strength has been to provide the best storage solutions for cost-conscious growers. Based in Kent, ICA has provided new storage facilities in the South East and beyond. Having worked on over 50 new controlled atmosphere (CA) stores as well as constructing a new ripening room this year, ICA are pioneers in working with customers to provide modern facilities using the latest
energy-saving equipment.

One of the biggest projects that ICA has worked on with Newmafruit this year is the increase of  eight ICA stores in a new extension. This is on top of the 1000 tonnes of storage the facility already has.

Newmafruit are consistently impressed with the energy saving technology that has been installed by ICA and STS refrigeration. They have renovated our older stores as well as retrofitting new technology. With over 35% of energy being saved since refurbishment, we are very pleased with this update to our storage.

South East Farmer August 2012