By Andrew Brookes at Spalding Today
A new border facility has been set up in Pinchbeck to allow some goods to be checked into the country when they reach South Holland.
Perishable Movements Limited (PML) has established a control point at the Freshlinc site in Wardentree Park to carry out customs checks and other official inspections.
It means that some plants and plant products can reach the area quicker from overseas – boosting their shelf life by 24-48 hours.
The UK Fresh Produce Network (ukFPN) – which brings together key businesses in the local economy – says the border facility is “in direct response to the congestion and disruptions currently experienced in transitioning consignments into Lincolnshire”.
It says the border post will bring a big economic benefit to south Lincolnshire – boosting businesses and jobs in the area – and revealed there are already plans to expand this further.
Angie Stuart, head of fresh produce at ukFPN Lincolnshire, said: “This is a fabulous, progressive move for Spalding and South Lincolnshire.
“We are working with the authorities to bring fresh produce, flowers and plants into the area using rail and sea, and the Border Control Posts (BCPs) create a vital link, squaring the circle, supporting local businesses and encouraging inward investment.
“The BCPs put Spalding and South Lincolnshire firmly on the map, it is the UK’s fresh produce heartland and the jewel in the Greater Lincolnshire demographic.
“30% of UK food is transported through South Holland with 1,200 HGVs of food and fresh produce leaving South Holland every day.
“It is imperative that we support businesses and encourage growth by improving infrastructure and connectivity, providing a slick supply route.”
ukFPN Lincolnshire is also working closely with Boston College and the National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach to help train existing and future workers in the industry.
Mrs Stuart added: “The future in south Lincolnshire is extremely exciting and the BCP plays an integral part in our growth initiative.”
Freshlinc has set up Floralinc – new trading division that works with growers in the UK and Netherlands to supply garden centres, nurseries and retailers.
It hopes to add a specialist horticulture border facility to its site in July.
A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) insisted the new border facility – officially approved on February 15 – was not set up as a result of Brexit.
They said the posts exist in EU member states and come from EU legislation.