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Malaysian Tomatoes in Dubai

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Malaysian tomatoes are now firmly established as a must have item on the supermarket shelves in Dubai. They are found in all the major outlets such as Spinneys, Carrefour, Union Corp and even Choithrams Online store.

The quality of the Malaysian tomatoes, with its crunchy texture, sweet and sour taste, goes very well with Middle-Eastern cooking and especially for salsa and salads. Aesthetically, they look much better than tomatoes from India, Morocco, Tunisia and Oman. For supermarkets, the main advantage is its longer shelf life compared to the others.

The tomatoes are grown in Cameron Highlands, where the altitude is around 1,200m above sea level. The temperature is cooler here and with 10 hours of sunshine, it created a perfect environment for tomatoes to flourish.

The first shipments of Malaysian tomatoes arrived in Dubai in 2008. From a humble beginning of 150 tonnes a year then, this market has grown to just under 8,000 tonnes a year in 2015. Rush Group has been instrumental in increasing the volume. To date, Rush supplies about 25% of the total volume of Malaysian tomatoes arriving in Dubai.

If you are based in Dubai and looking for a reliable supply of tomatoes, please contact Chris Lioe today.

Poached baby carrots with caper mayonnaise

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Serves four

Ingredients

550g baby carrots, scraped
150g baby leeks
2 tbsp. chopped dill to serve

Poaching liquor
600ml white wine
200ml olive oil
150ml lemon juice
2 bay leaves
½ onion
2 celery sticks, cut into batons
1 tbsp. salt

Mayonnaise
½ garlic clove crushed
1 egg yolk
1 ½ tsp. white wine vinegar
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. salt
grated zest and juice of half a lemon
75ml vegetable oil
2 tbsp. capers, drained and finely chopped

Mayonnaise method
Place the garlic, egg yolk, vinegar, mustard, salt and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Start blending and then very slowly dribble in the oil until you get a thick mayonnaise. Fold in the capers and lemon zest and set aside.

Poaching carrots
Cut carrots and leeks into halves or quarters, depending on size.

Place the wine in a wide pan and boil for 2-3 minutes. Add all the other poaching liquor ingredients and bring to a simmer. Add  the carrots, and then the leeks 3 minutes later, poach for a further 3-4 minutes. At this point the vegetables should be cooked but still crunchy.

Using tongues lift the carrots and leeks from the poaching liquor onto deep plates. Spoon some liquor around the vegetables, then add a spoon of the mayonnaise and sprinkle with dill.

Crushed carrots with harissa and pistachios

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Serves four

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
15g unsalted butter
1kg carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm slices
200ml vegetable stock
grated zest of 1 orange
1garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp harissa paste
grated zest of 1 lemon + 1 tbsp juice
200g Greek yoghurt
25g shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
salt and black pepper

Method
Place the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan on a medium heat. Add the carrots and sauté for 6 minutes, stirring often. Add the stock, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook for another 25 minutes, until the carrots are completely soft and there is hardly any liquid left. Transfer the carrots to a food processor, add ¾ teaspoon of salt and blitz briefly to form a coarse paste. Leave to cool and then add the orange zest, garlic, harissa, half the lemon zest and some black pepper. Stir to combine.

Mix together the yoghurt, lemon juice, remaining zest and ¼ teaspoon of salt.

Spread the yoghurt out onto a serving platter and spoon the carrot mixture on top. Sprinkle with the pistachios, drizzle with olive oil

Rush Group’s onion business growing

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Rush Group’s Nat Bacon recently took over the Group’s onion sector, and over the past five months the quantity of brown and red onions they have handled has steadily grown.

Rush Group continues to discover and develop different markets around the world, and this has facilitated the increase in their onion business as the season has progressed. It has allowed them to deal with the different range of sizes, shapes and quality that has resulted from the relatively poor growing season in Europe last year.

The main focus for onions this year has been:

  • UK brown onions (40-60mm) exported to Eastern Europe
  • Egyptian red onions (60-80mm) imported to the UK
  • French brown onions, any size to Eastern Europe and the UK
  • German onions to Eastern Europe
  • French shallots to Eastern Europe

Nat believes that the fact that Rush Group has offices in Poland and Hungary (with native speakers on the ground) greatly supplements their ability to give their customers in Eastern Europe a reliable supply of onions, 364 days of the year. Clients appreciate the security of having a presence in their geographical region, someone they can talk to face to face that speaks their language and who gives them options.

With the northern hemisphere’s season soon coming to an end, Rush Group will still be able to supply their customers with red and brown onions and shallots, as they have strong production programmes with growers in New Zealand, Egypt, and Chile

If you are looking for a 365 days a year supply of onions, delivered at the right time and for the right price, please contact Nat Bacon today.

Rush Group breaks into United Arab Emirate’s fresh produce market

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Rush Group is increasing its business with the United Arab Emirates following their visit to the Gulf Food Exhibition in Dubai in February this year. The Group has been doing a steady trade in exporting potatoes to the UAE, but due to contacts made at the exhibition and enquiries made through their website, business has increased.

Dubai’s Al Aweer’s wholesale market is thriving, partly due to the traders’ pro-active attitude to dealing in fresh produce, an attitude reflected by the fact that the wholesale market opens twice daily –early morning and then later in the evening. The wholesale market is made up of seven blocks consisting of a total of approx. 284 outlets. Each shop in the wholesale market is provided with two parking lots for loading goods on one side and two parking lots for unloading imported goods on the other side. The layout of the market has been organised product wise – fruits in one location and vegetables in the other; and within each section there is specific areas for potatoes, onions, etc.

This modern market demonstrates the huge business within the United Arab Emirates for fresh produce and the need for them to widen their supply net. In the past Dubai and the other states have traditionally imported their fruit and vegetables from countries such as Bangladesh and Australia, but European countries are now becoming more popular.

Trade within the UAE is relatively hassle free due to the G.C.C. (Gulf Cooperation Council), a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. This freedom to trade is no more apparent than by the quantity of fresh produce that comes into Jebel Ali port in Dubai and is then re-exported throughout the G.C.C. countries.

This huge appetite for fresh produce is further increased by the poor internal infrastructure within the United Arab Emirates, which cannot support the UAE’s demand – hence the need to import.

Rush Group’s ability to supply fresh produce at the right time, right quality and right price 52 weeks a year is proving incredibly popular within this region, due to the various countries’ reliance on imports. UAE demands top quality at a competitive price, something that Rush Group can normally respond to due to its wide network of growers.

If you are a fresh produce importer based in the United Arab Emirates, looking for a reliable source of potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, onions, cauliflowers, broccoli and apples 52 weeks a year, please contact David Ough today.

Avocados – a healthy fruit that is doing healthy business in S. E. Asia

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Rush Group has recently started dealing with avocados, in particular exporting South African avocados to Malaysia and Singapore. South East Asia’s appetite for avocados is growing year on year, probably due to its health properties, along with the fact that they use the fruit in both savoury and sweet dishes.

The health properties of avocados are multiple, but here is the top 10:

(10 Healthy brain: Avocados combine brain healthy omega-3 fatty acids with natural vitamin E, which has been clinically proven to prevent Alzheimer’s disease from progressing and even reversing it in its earliest stages.

(2) Healthy heart: Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats that boost heart health and help lower blood pressure. Avocado monounsaturated fats contain the phytonutrient beta-sitosterol, which was clinically proven to lower LDL and triglyceride blood levels while raising HDL.

(3) Pregnancy: Folic acid is commonly recommended for pregnant women to help the foetus develop its brain and other vital organs. But some health experts consider synthetically extracted folic acid a problem. They recommend using natural folate for its folic acid content instead.

(4) Eye health: Avocado contains the carotenoid leutein, an antioxidant that specializes with protecting the eyes from oxidative stress damage leading to poor vision, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

(5) Blood pressure: The combination of avocado’s high potassium content, 30 percent more than banana, with omega-3 and oleic acid are beneficial toward reducing blood pressure.

(6) Blood sugar: Avocado’s monounsaturated fats can prevent or reverse insulin resistance, a source of type 2 diabetes. The high soluble fibre of avocado helps prevent blood sugar spikes.

(7) Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation is considered the basis of most non-contagious diseases. Avocados have an abundance of plant phytonutrient polyphenols and flavonoids, which have been discovered as anti-inflammatory agents.

(8) Anti-aging: The master antioxidant glutathione supports the liver and the nervous system. It is responsible for replenishing and recycling other antioxidants in the body. It is vital for a strong immune system, and avocado is one of the few foods that contain a considerable amount of glutathione.

(9) Digestion: Nutrients and enzymes in avocado reduce inflammation in the stomach and small intestine’s mucous lining. This also improves the body’s ability to absorb carotenoids and nutrients.

A study’s participants who ate salads with avocados absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids than those who did not include avocados. Carotenoids include beta carotene and lycopene. Beta carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, and lycopene is a compound that reduces stroke and prostate cancer risks.

(10) Cancer: Avocados can help protect against prostate and breast cancers.

Avocados are grown in many parts of the world, with main countries being: Peru, Chile, Mexico, Australia, Israel, Australia and South Africa. Due to Rush Group’s personal connections, the Group imports a lot of their avocados from South Africa, which also has the added benefit of the fruit being ready for harvest when other harvests have finished.

The main varieties that Rush Group deal in are Haas and Fuerte, both delicious and as equally healthy; though it is easier to spot when a Hass avocado is ripe, as its skin turns from light green to black.

Rush Group is working on a ‘ripe’n’ready’ range of avocados to overcome the common criticism that avocados are never ripe when you buy them, and go from raw to slime overnight.

Rush Group forecast an ever-increasing demand for avocados in SE Asia, as well as a burgeoning market in Dubai.

If you are looking for a reliable supply of avocados 52 weeks of the year, at the right price and quality, please contact Andrew Chance today.

 

 

An agronomist – ensuring the right quality of fresh produce 365 days a year

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The role of an agronomist is defined in the dictionary as: ‘an expert in soil management and field-crop production expert’, whilst this is undoubtedly true, in reality an agronomist does so much more.

Rush Group’s agronomist and technical director Jose Nazare adds a valuable input that ensures that every item of fresh produce is grown in and to the right standards and arrives at the clients in the best possible condition. Jose has a degree in agronomy and he travels around the world, dealing with Rush Group’s core product range of potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, onions, cauliflowers, broccoli and apples.

So how does he do this?

Growers

The Group’s growers need to meet Rush’s exacting standards before they can start supplying them with fresh produce. Jose thoroughly assesses the quality of the products they grow as well as their adherence to the appropriate certification including GlobalGap, Assured Produce and BRC. Jose also, where necessary, ensures that growers also maintain the correct ethical standards.

Where growers have their own cold storage, Jose also checks that he is happy with its condition.

Transportation

Getting their fresh produce delivered at peak condition is one of Rush’s main priorities; their agronomist Jose’s technical knowledge ensures that all fresh produce is transported at the correct temperature, meaning that certain vegetables cannot be packed in the same lorry. For example potatoes need to be kept at 7°C, where as sweet potatoes and butternut squash both require 12°C.

Traceability

Rush Group’s customers can rely on them to be able to provide a full traceability report should the ever need one, Jose’s skill allows him to trace all Rush’s produce from the field to the supermarket shelf, and in reverse should it be required.

Jose’s role at Rush Group is indispensable, as without him the Group could not deliver its promise of delivering a reliable source of fruit and vegetables, at the right rime and at the right price.

Investment in marketing – good news for growers and customers alike

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Why are you receiving this newsletter?  A good question.

Rush Group has recently updated their website (rushgroup.co.uk), invested in e-shot software and entered the world of social media. Why? Because they are committed to working with best growers in order to supply their customers with a reliable source of fresh produce at the right time and at the right price. So how do their new marketing systems achieve this?

Website

The new website has been built with search engine optimisation in mind, which in real terms means that when a customer or supplier searches for say – broccoli in Google, our new website will help Rush score more highly in the results that Google displays. More importantly this means that growers looking for a market for their crop and customers looking for the right supplier can find Rush more quickly and efficiently than before.

Due to the international nature of the Group’s business, the new website is now also in French and German. Rush chose these languages, as they relate to a wide number in their client base, alongside reflecting some of the languages spoken in their offices around the world.

E-shots/Newsletter

You may have already received one of Rush Group’s e-shots; these are a simple fast and effective way of letting customers know what they have for them and for informing growers what they need. With their detailed and flexible database system, the Group can target exactly who and where to send their e-shots, meaning that they do not fill up your in-box with irrelevant information.

 

Social media

The fresh produce industry has now taken social media to its heart. Rush Group are now on Twitter and Facebook – so why not follow Rush and/or like Rush and keep up to date with all the latest industry news.

 

Supplying a wide variety of potatoes 52 weeks of the year

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Rush Group has been supplying potatoes on an international basis for over 30 years. Over this time they have built up a reliable source of growers throughout the world who supply them with potatoes of different varieties, 365 days a year. Below is a list of some of the most popular varieties we supply, and how best they are used in cooking.

Pre-pack (Boiling, mashed, roasting, baking)

Agata

Melody

Harmony

Estima

Cara

Caesar

Avalanche

Desiree

Saxon

Osprey

Marfona

Processing (French Fries)

Agria

Maris Piper

Markies

Challenger

Asterix

Desiree

Processing (Crisping)

Lady Rosetta

Lady Claire

Verdi

Hermes

Salad Potatoes (Boiling, steaming)

Charlotte

Amandine

Exquisa

Annabelle

Maris Peer

Carlingford

Bambino

Nicola

For further technical information on the varieties of potatoes supplied by Rush Group, please click here

If you are looking for a reliable source of potatoes, whatever the variety, delivered on time and at the right price, please contact Rush today

 

Benefiting the growers and the customers of fresh produce

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Rush Group’s potential new employees undergo a rigorous interviewing process to ensure that any one who works for the group has an inherent understanding of the fresh produce market.

The recruitment process starts with searching the UK’s top agricultural colleges, where students were asked to submit their CV’s. The Group were looking less for high grades, but more an indication that the candidates had a knowledge of how the fresh produce industry worked.

Having read the 40 CV’s, the next stage successful applicants were subject to a 30-minute phone or skype interview, followed by psychometric testing, which led to the number in next stage to fall from 12 to six.

For their next fresh produce task, the six successful candidates were asked to identify a geographical region, a suitable fresh product and then submit a relevant business plan. They then had to present their fresh produce business plan to the board in a 30-minute presentation, which was followed by a mathematical test and two-way question and answers. At the end of this session, three people were offered jobs at Rush Group from the six that made it through to the final stage.

So what was Rush Group looking for? Apart from the necessary business acumen, it was a passion for fresh produce, an understanding of the whole fresh food supply chain, and the ability to provide solutions. Rush Group takes pride in respecting both grower and customer alike. They take the time to understand the issues which farmers of potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, onions, cauliflowers, broccoli and apples face on a daily basis, as well as respecting the fact that their clients require their fresh produce 365 days a year, and at the right price.

The new employees also needed to demonstrate their eagerness to embrace the Rush Group culture; a culture of working together as one, with a shared goal of providing the best possible service for customers, whilst acknowledging the possible problems their growers might encounter throughout the year.

It is this empathy and in-depth knowledge of the fresh produce industry that has helped, and continues to help Rush maintain an excellent working relationship with their international network of growers of potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, onions, cauliflowers, broccoli and apples, as well as providing their customers with the right fresh produce, at the right time, at the right price.

If you feel you have what it takes to be a fresh produce trader at Rush Group, please contact us today