Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: Angflor salads joint venture extends under-cover production

10:37 14 August 2014

NFU Essex county adviser Adam Scot, left, with Angflor managing director Patrick Bastow at Hockley Farm, Frating.

NFU Essex county adviser Adam Scot, left, with Angflor managing director Patrick Bastow at Hockley Farm, Frating.

Archant

Work has just been completed on the second stage of an ambitious project in Essex to grow salad crops under cover.

The 10-hectare expansion by Angflor is part of an investment which will eventually see 40 hectares of multi-span polytunnels at Hockley Farm, Frating − helping to meet the challenge of meeting more UK demand with British-grown produce.

Angflor is a joint venture between two growers, J EPiccaver and Anglia Salads, and Florette that is supplying lambs lettuce and other baby leaf salad crops for the bagged salad specialist.

Patrick Bastow, managing director of Angflor, says this is the first time that the crops have been grown under cover on such a scale.

“This is an exciting project,” he said. “We are increasing protected cropping in the UK and this structure is unique at the moment. We are taking field-scale cropping and bringing it inside.”

The first 11 hectare stage of the project was completed last year, with exclusive supply into Florette UK starting at the beginning of the 2014 season.

David Edwards of Anglia Salads said it had taken several years to plan the project, trial the crops, and obtain planning permission, following an initial approach from Florette.

The project has received some Rural Development Programme for England funding but Mr Edwards said the relationship with the processor was invaluable in securing additional finance.

“Five years ago we were probably competing against 20 different growers. Now it’s probably just five competitors,” he said.

“Florette commissioned a supplier survey, which found that there are fewer growers coming into the industry and it’s hard for a business like this to raise finance without a guaranteed supply contract. Greater integration means it’s easier for the business to obtain finance.”

NFU Essex county adviser Adam Scott said Angflor was an example of how forward-thinking farm businesses are working to produce more home-grown produce.

“Research shows that 86% of shoppers are keen to purchase more traceable food produced from British farms, but at the same time self-sufficiency is falling,” he said.

“The latest statistics reveal we are 60% self-sufficient in food, compared with 75% in 1991. If we only relied on UK produce we would have run out on August 7 this year.

“Through our Back British Farming campaign we’re looking to reverse this decline, and Angflor shows what can be done with the use of new techniques and an innovative approach.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Yoxford and Middleton primary schools have formed an academy.
Top: Andrew Aalders Dunthorne and Sam Cutler.
 L-R Esther Karaboce, Kaitlyn Geraghty, Maddie Pearce, Skye Coote and Molly Panton.

Two rural schools have turned a chapter in their histories after reforming under a new partnership.

A tablet

A north Essex constituency has the highest spend per head of the population on prescription drugs, according to a recent Government report.

Bury St Edmunds Guildhall

A bottle of wine signed by Theresa May was one of many items auctioned off to raise thousands of pounds for conservation work on Bury St Edmunds’ historic Guildhall.

These are the Ipswich locations which will be launched as part of the Screen Suffolk deal in London.

Christchurch Mansion, Fore Street Swimming Pool and the Town Hall are just a handful of Ipswich’s prestigious buildings set to be opened up for filming as part of the Screen Suffolk deal under latest plans by town bosses.

File picture of a dog walker.

A dog walker bravely fought off two men who tried to rob him in an alleyway.

Awards for medicines management team, pictured at Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG headquarters, Rushbrook House. Left to right, Catherine Butler, Dr David Egan, Louise Hardwick, Katie Allison and Maddie Baker-Woods.

A Suffolk health team whose innovative approach to prescribing achieved a £700,000 annual reduction in spending has been recognised at an awards ceremony celebrating outstanding leadership.

Endeavour House, Suffolk County Council HQ

Suffolk County Council has come under fire after applications for new road safety technology in Bury St Edmunds appeared to vanish into a “black hole”.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24