Queen’s Award winner lands seven-figure coronavirus loan

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A fresh fruit company, which won a Queens Award for Enterprise in the Sustainable Development in April, has landed a seven-figure CLBILS loan through HSBC.

Founded in 1997, Blue Skies, which is headquartered in Pitsford, Northamptonshire, provides 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 decisive action to retain its staff, support farmers and invest in logistics during the coronavirus crisis.

Anthony Pile, chairman and founder of Blue Skies, 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 firector 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: “HSBC UK is committed to supporting its customers during this period of uncertainty. 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.”