Belgium-based European produce supplier Greenyard Foods said today (28 July) it had concluded a joint venture deal under which it will take a minority stake in UK fruit producer Bardsley Farms .

Kent-based Bardsley , a family-owned firm for five generations, is a fruit producer and packer active in apples, pears, plums and apricots.

Greenyard, which operates in 25 countries, said it will obtain a minority stake in Bardsley with an undisclosed capital increase to be used for investments in machinery and storage capacity.

Greenyard CEO Marleen Vaesen said: “This JV will improve the position of the company and strengthen future growth of Greenyard Foods to become a unique global player in fruit and vegetables.”

Last month, Greenyard announced plans to “substantially” increase its capacity in the US through the opening of a new packing and cold storage facility in the market next February. The company said the New Jersey facility was “strategically positioned” within close proximity to northeastern sea ports in an area that is a “major receiving point” for fresh produce imported into the US.