About Blue Skies

Anthony Pile, Founder of Blue SkiesBlue Skies was founded in 1998 by the British Entrepreneur Anthony Pile.

From the beginning the company’s approach differed to its competitors because it believes in ‘adding value at source’. This means the majority of Blue Skies products are cut and packed in the country of origin, rather than shipped overseas and processed elsewhere. This approach not only enables Blue Skies to deliver a better quality product, but also helps to generate social and economic development within the country where the fruit is grown.

Today Blue Skies supplies a variety of retailers throughout the world with exceptional quality ‘fresh from harvest fruit’. It employs over 4,000 people at its factories in Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil and the UK.

The Joint Effort Enterprise

The Blue Skies mission is to build together a profitable enterprise where people respect each other, care for environment and inspire a legacy for the future. 

To achieve this we have applied three simple principles which we call our ‘Joint Effort Enterprise’. 

The first principle is to ensure we are a diverse company, welcoming people from all different ages, genders and backgrounds and giving one another equal opportunity to thrive. This helps to create a synergy conducive to coming up with the best ideas and bringing them to fruition. The second principle is that we respect each other, regardless of who we are or the jobs we are employed to do. This has become the foundation of our culture and enables us each to fulfil our jobs to the best of our abilities with care, self-belief and importantly, spirit! The third principle is to make a profit. We need to make a profit to protect our company and allow it to grow, but not at the expense of our diversity, nor our respect for each other. To make a profit we uphold the values of delivering fresh-from-harvest quality, market leading innovation and excellent customer service.

Put simply the JEE espouses the idea that a business works best if it is inclusive, socially equal and profitable. It is this model that has enabled Blue Skies to respond effectively to actual and immediate challenges and to be innovative and profitable in a highly competitive market.

Adding Value at Source

At the heart of our philosophy is a commitment to practicing equitable trade by ‘adding value at source’. This means that where possible we make the finished product in the country or region where the fruit is grown, rather than doing it in factories overseas. By doing this we believe as much as 70% of the value of the finished product stays within the country of origin, compared to as little as 15% if it is processed outside. This approach also enables us to have a closer relationship with the farmers who grow the fruit so we can work together to improve quality and lessen our impact on the environment.

The Blue Skies Foundation

The Blue Skies Foundation is a charity which we run in partnership with two of the retailers we supply in Europe; Waitrose in the UK and Albert Heijn in the Netherlands. To date the Foundation has completed over 50 community projects in Ghana and South Africa, including the construction and renovation of schools, toilets and clinics in remote rural areas where such facilities often don’t even exist.

Click here to find out about the Blue Skies Foundation

Technical Standards

To help us select the best quality fruits, Blue Skies employs a team of agricultural experts who work closely with our suppliers (group wide) to provide continuous training and support. Together we work to the highest technical, social and environmental standards to ensure all our fruit comes from a sustainable source and delivers on freshness and taste. The standards we work to include GlobalGAP for food safety, SMETA (Sedex Methodology Ethical Trade Audit) and Fairtrade for ethical compliance, and organic and LEAF for environmental sustainability.

Recognition and Awards

Our approach to business has won us a number of awards including three Queens Awards for Enterprise in the Sustainable Development Category (in 2008, 2011 and 2015), and in 2016 we received four FreshAwards from the UK Fresh Produce Consortium including awards for CSR Excellence, Best Place to Work and the overall Fresh Produce Business of the Year.

Click here to find out about our awards