Blue Skies, the Pitsford-based international fresh fruit company, has ensured continuity throughout its supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a seven-figure loan from HSBC UK.
The loan, through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), helped Blue Skies in pivoting its distribution model, as it took steps to reduce the impact of supply chain disruptions.
Founded in 1997, Blue Skies provides high-quality, fresh-from-harvest 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 highly skilled staff, support farmers and invest in logistics during these challenging times to ensure continuity across its entire supply chain, and most importantly, provide its customers with a consistent supply of fresh fruit.
Anthony Pile, Chairman and Founder of Blue Skies Ltd, 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 Director 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.”
In April 2020, Blue Skies was awarded its fourth Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Sustainable Development category, in recognition of the company’s pioneering sustainability plan. HSBC UK is working closely with the Government and UK Finance to identify emerging issues and make sure customers and businesses have the advice and support they need.
For tips and advice for businesses around planning for any possible disruption, visit www.business.hsbc.com/novel-coronavirus