Family-owned agriculture firm secures £800k investment for expansion plans

Huntpac Produce

Funding of £800,000 has enabled a fourth-generation Lancashire business to continue with its expansion plans.

Preston-based vegetable wholesaler, Huntapac Produce, received the financial backing from Lombard, part of the NatWest Group.

It led to the purchase of two new Prinoth Panther dumpers, used in high volume, low ground pressure farming which allow growers to harvest crops year round, irrespective of weather conditions.

The support package has also funded an investment in hybrid fleet vehicles and the installation of EV chargers.

Huntpac Produce was founded in 1942 and specialises in growing, packing and distributing carrots and parsnips to the country’s biggest retailers.

It has a network of farms around the UK, a packhouse located in Preston and a transport fleet allowing it to supply retailers 52 weeks of the year. It employs 550 people from around the UK with at least 350 employed locally in Lancashire.

Lombard has been working with the business for more than 18 years, financing almost all its capital expenditure and supporting it to become a major player in the UK wholesale market.

It has played a vital role in assisting the modernisation of the firm, including funding the installation of a new automated line for extracting vegetable powder from crops, expending as much from its produce as possible, making the production process more sustainably viable.

Huntpac managing director, Warren Hunter, said: “We have a fantastic history from small beginnings in Lancashire to expanding our network around the UK. Our unique business model means we deliver end to end, from growing, packing and delivering straight to the retailers.

“While we will always remain a family-orientated business at heart, our ambition is to continue this growth while being mindful of our impact on the natural environment that we rely upon for our operations.

“The relationship with Lombard has, without doubt, enabled us to scale up, with the introduction of new technology helping with more efficient working methods and, ultimately, driving forward our sustainable plans for the future.”

Elizabeth Flynn, relationship manager at Lombard, said: “We have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Huntapac for almost two decades, offering financial support and dedicated professional advice, so we are thrilled to see how the business has flourished in that time.

“The management team, workers and all involved have a great mentality and the wider drive to scale up their sustainable efforts is remarkable. We hope this latest technology will further those ambitions, as we all work towards the journey to net zero.”