We believe that the best way to grow our produce is to do so in partnership with the nature that surrounds us. We want to grow the freshest and healthiest of vegetables, fruit and cereal crops so that our customers can experience what old fashioned mother nature is capable of.
We are a long standing member of the LEAF Marque farm assurance system. This accreditation demonstrates that our produce is grown in a sustainable manner and with care for the environment. Our investment in attaining this status is a real commitment to the food chain and to a high standard of food production. It means that not only are we doing it right today, but we also have systems in place to ensure it is done correctly tomorrow and sustainably into the future.
One of our objectives is to become less reliant on the use of chemicals year by year. In doing so we increase the importance of natural health to our crops. Some of our techniques to do this are:
Our fruit team have developed a unique low nitrogen growing strategy (based on daily onsite laboratory tests) with the co-operation of world renowned agricultural and horticultural advisors.
A crucial component of our strawberry production is the native Bumble Bee. Every year we employ approximately 100,000 native bumble bees to pollinate as many flowers on our fruit plants as possible. In doing so they stimulate growth and provide the perfect berry – bees truly are everything to us.
Recently we have partnered with Koppert Biological Systems, who are a world leader in biological pest control. We are relentless in the pursuit of our goals, which means constant and intensive research into our growing techniques. As a result of this we have adopted a new approach to what we do and now make wide use of natural predators, nematodes, fungi, and bacteria to support and improve plant efficiency. The results have been fantastic, with healthier plants producing tastier berries, hopefully with further improvement to come.
Since 2001 every acre of our swede crop has been covered with insect netting to predominantly protect against cabbage root fly. We believe that this necessary step in producing swede has reduced our pesticide usage by up to 98%
We have taken delivery of voltage optimisation equipment that will save approximately 220,000 Kg CO2 per annum and we are in the midst of a lightbulb replacement programme which removes 400 Watt metal Halide bulbs and replaces them with 80 Watt LEDS.