Fruit firm's new boss plans 'exciting' new growth phase

Pieter van Egmond and Tim Place at Norfolk-based fruit grower Place UK

Pieter van Egmond (right) will replace Tim Place (left) as managing director of Norfolk-based fruit grower Place UK - Credit: Newman Associates PR

The new boss at one of the nation's leading fruit growers has vowed to continue the tradition of innovation at the 70-year-old Norfolk firm.

Place UK, based at Tunstead near North Walsham, has appointed Pieter van Egmond as its new managing director.

It follows the decision of his predecessor Tim Place to step back to concentrate on his role as chairman of parent company R & JM Place.

Mr van Egmond, who joined the firm in 2018 as farm director, comes from a horticultural background and grew up working for a Lincolnshire-based family business set up by his Dutch great-grandfather.

"I am delighted to be taking on this role at Place UK, at an exciting time for the business," he said.


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"My twin aims will be to provide continuity and preserve all that has made the business so successful over seven decades, while taking it forward into a new phase of growth over the coming years.

“We will continue to innovate, capitalise on new technology, and extend our growing season, while increasing further the sustainability of what we do.  

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"The business has always succeeded by responding to changing consumer demand, and the increased focus on plant-based and pulse-based foods presents us with great opportunities for growth.”

Mr Place, who joined the family-owned business in 1985 and took over from his father as managing director in 2000, said: "I am delighted to announce Pieter as our new managing director.

"He joined the business two and a half years ago with a proven track record for growing and developing a number of businesses, and during his time here he has shown himself to be a great leader.

“His appointment will enable the business to move into its next stage of growth.  We have a strong management team which under Pieter’s leadership will continue to operate and grow under the guiding principles and core values that we have established over more than 70 years."

Place UK, which employs up to 650 people at the height of the summer fruit-picking season, supplies berries and soft fruits for major retailers as part of the UK’s biggest soft fruit marketing group, Berry Gardens.

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