Praetura Commercial Finance, an asset finance partner, has provided a £17 million funding facility to Community Foods, a supplier of dried fruit, nuts, and ingredients. This strategic move positions Community Foods for an expansion plan set to unfold in 2024.

Community Foods, based in Witham, Essex, is known for supplying retail-ready and bulk ingredients to major grocery and manufacturing clients. The business caters to retail giants such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

The infusion of £17 million from Praetura Commercial Finance underscores Community Foods’ commitment to a comprehensive three-year strategic investment plan. This plan encompasses pivotal initiatives like site improvements and the augmentation of manufacturing capabilities. Acquired by long-standing partner Vesta Fruit in 2023, Community Foods aims to amplify its 150-strong workforce and further bolster revenues, having already surpassed £70 million last year.

Martin Rome, Managing Director at Community Foods, expressed excitement about the company’s trajectory, with the new funding from Praetura adding considerable momentum. Rome emphasised the growth opportunities recognised by the company and the strategic investments required to seize them. Praetura Commercial Finance’s senior management team earned praise from Rome for their professionalism and expertise in asset-based lending (ABL).

Stuart Bates, commercial director at Praetura Commercial Finance, said: “Community Foods has been a trusted expert in the sourcing and supply of dried fruits, nuts and seeds for over five decades. I was impressed by the board’s commitment, knowledge and passion for the business, led by Martin Rome. The new ownership with Vesta gives Martin and the team an excellent platform to drive shareholder value in the coming months and years.    

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to support the team, providing the right ingredients for growth in the form of an ABL funding facility and our trademark more than money approach to relationship-led lending.”

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By GlobalData