The Team

David Simmons
Managing Director

t: 01736 850960
m: 07971 465074
e: [email protected]

Being the fourth generation of the Simmons family to have responsibility for managing the family farm, it’s fair to say that David has farming in his blood. After completing his HND in Agriculture at Seale Hayne College, Newton Abbott David has worked in the business for over 30 years.As Managing Director, David has overall responsibility for developing the business at Riviera Produce and takes a broad but detailed interest in all aspects of the operation. His vision, drive and commitment have helped develop Riviera Produce into one of the largest and most respected suppliers in the business.

In whatever spare time he has, David enjoys time with his family, walking the dogs and watching a wide range of sports – and still squeezes in some time to work out at the gym.

David Thomas
Farm Manager

t: 01736 850960
m: 07545 205262
e: [email protected]

David was born and raised in Cornwall and has lived there all his life. After leaving school he worked at home on the family farm growing vegetables and cereal crops. Leaving the family farm he took up a position with a large grower in West Cornwall as the Crops Manager before starting to work for Riviera Produce in February 2009 in a similar role.

As Agronomy manager David is responsible for the crops from the day they are planted right through to harvest. This includes monitoring everything from fertiliser requirements, weed control and general plant health. Other aspects of his role include allocating crops to land availability and sourcing suitable land. In the winter months he also walks Riviera’s growers crops and calculates from this a 3 week prediction of volumes which is then used for sales predictions.

Outside of work he enjoys time at home with his wife and daughter.David’s hobby is growing giant vegetables and has had a recent success in breaking a World Record with a heavy parsnip!

Ellis Luckhurst
Technical Manager

t: 01736 850960
e: [email protected]

Ellis was born and raised in Kent but following his studies at Aberystwyth University explored Australia & New Zealand for a few years. He started working within the fresh produce industry as an assistant agronomist in Cambridgeshire before taking a job with David Simmons as a trainee agronomist under the KTP scheme. This 2 year project – in conjunction with the University of Plymouth – finished in 2003, when Ellis became Technical Manager and Agronomist for Riviera.

In 2005 Ellis launched his own business and now holds agencies for two vegetable seed companies, Clause and Nickerson-Zwaan, in the South West.

Ellis is now responsible for the quality assurance systems required by Riviera’s customers, leads customer visits, carries out frequent random audits and organises the procurement of seeds and plants for our growing operation.

Ellis also represents the South West on industry R&D panels including the Brassica Growers Association and the Horticultural Development Company to monitoring new variety developments in the field and through the packhouse. In 2007 he was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship which took him to 8 countries including China and Nicaragua to study global methods of vegetable production.

Outside of work Ellis says he used to have many interests before the recent arrival of his daughter! Spare time is now taken up with trips to the beach, although he still retains a strong passion for travelling.

Peter Willis
Financial Controller

t: 01736 850960
e: [email protected]

Peter was born in Yorkshire where he spent his early years before moving to Kent. After finishing his education he moved to Cornwall with his now wife.

Peter started working at a local accountant’s in Cornwall where he worked and trained for 6 years before joining Riviera as an accounts assistant in 2004. Over time Peter has developed his role and was promoted to his current position in 2006. As Financial Controller his main role is now to ensure the smooth running of the accounts department and to help support the IT systems.

Outside of work Peter enjoys time with his wife and 2 daughters. Peter also enjoys most sports and can occasionally be found trying to play football.