Appointment of East Anglian potato grower to champion new techniques postponed

PUBLISHED: 17:49 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:57 09 April 2019

From left, David Wilson (AHDB), James Foskett, Mike Shapland & Michael Welham (AHDB Potato Board member)  Picture: AHDB

From left, David Wilson (AHDB), James Foskett, Mike Shapland & Michael Welham (AHDB Potato Board member) Picture: AHDB


The appointment of a new Strategic Farm East farm host to take UK potato growing to greater heights has been postponed.

James Foskett Farms, based at Bromeswell, near Woodbridge, was chosen to host the new Strategic Potato Farm East, starting on April 1.

The farm was earmarked to take up where potato farmer Andrew Francis, farms director at the Elveden Estate, near Thetford, left off in working out ways to grow the crop more successfully by embracing new technologies and thinking under a scheme run by levy-payers’ organisation the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

MORE – Brexit: What are best and worst things farmers can do this year?

But AHDB said: “AHDB Potatoes have had to postpone the start date of James Foskett Farms as the new Strategic Farm East host.”

An AHDB spokesman said in the short term the farm wouldn’t be taking up the position, which was set to run for six years rather than three, as in the case of the previous project at Elveden.

James Foskett Farms is a family-owned business on predominantly sandy loam soils. It farms 900ha, growing crops including onions, cereals and sugar beet. It also has an organic enterprise comprising carrots, butternut squash, green peas, onions and carrots.

Farm manager Mike Shapland, who was Farmers Weekly’s Farm Manager of the Year in 2018, said it had been postponed because of an ongoing issue on-farm.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times