Exotic fruit from around the world is being brought to UK tables with the help of mobile telecoms supplied by a Warwickshire firm.
Specialist importer Jupiter Marketing uses state-of-theart handsets, supplied by Titan Technology of Barford, near Warwick, to tap into the global 'grapevine' for up-to-the-minute market reports on fruit harvests in up to 30 countries.
"It's a 24-hour operation," said Jupiter's general manager Antony Doughty. "We provide phones to all our directors and senior managers and our mobile bill is around £1,000 a month.
"We need them to keep up to date with fruit harvests, so that we can buy at precisely the right moment."
Timing is critical, since some crops will be at sea for up to six weeks, ripening in ships' holds. They have to arrive in the UK in peak condition, ready for distribution to large grocery chains and wholesale markets.
Jupiter, based in Newport, Shropshire, has dealt with Titan for more than two years, and has 15 mobile connections on a 12-month contract with 02. Since the beginning of this year Titan has also handled its line rental and call traffic.
"The mobiles are a key part of our business, because we need to keep in touch with the growers and shippers. Titan has been very reliable," said Mr Doughty.
He added: "From the point of view of customer service we get first-class treatment from our account managers, even though I know we're not their biggest customer.
"They make us feel that we are not just doing business with a company, but friends who genuinely have our best interests at heart."