Iceland’s Bakkavör Group has confirmed that jobs will not be affected at its latest UK acquisition, Exotic Farm Produce Group.


Bakkavör CFO Hildur Árnadóttir told just-food that the company would look to keep the jobs – and the current management team at Exotic Farm Produce – in place.


Árnadóttir pointed to a “strong management team and a balanced product portfolio” at Exotic Farm Produce as key factors in Bakkavör’s move for the company.


“As with all our acquisitions, Exotic Farm has a good, added-value business and has good prospects for growth,” Árnadóttir said this afternoon (28 August).


Exotic Farm Produce, based in Lincolnshire, supplies the country’s leading supermarkets with speciality fresh produce, fresh prepared vegetables and salads.


The deal will strengthen Bakkavör’s manufacturing base in the UK, a market that accounts for 92% of the Icelandic firm’s turnover, Árnadóttir said.


Bakkavör’s acquisition of Exotic Farm Produce – which was secured for an undisclosed sum – comes after a challenging period for vegetable producers in the UK during a wet summer in the country.


Nevertheless, Bakkavör has out-performed the rest of the UK fresh produce sector during the first half of the year, with sales up over 19%.


However, on announcing its half-year results last month, Bakkavör warned that the floods in the UK this summer would have an impact on its business, particularly salad sales, during the second half of 2007.