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East Anglia Future 50

Manningtree fruit juice maker celebrates food safety accolade

PUBLISHED: 15:58 03 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:58 03 July 2019

Craig and Gail Williamson of Barn Farm  Picture: BARN FARM/EMMA KINDRED

Craig and Gail Williamson of Barn Farm Picture: BARN FARM/EMMA KINDRED

Emma Kindred

An Essex fruit grower said he was "thrilled" after achieving the highest possible rating under a tough new food safety standard audit.

The D C Williamson farm  Picture: BARN FARM/EMMA KINDREDThe D C Williamson farm Picture: BARN FARM/EMMA KINDRED

Manningtree-based D C Williamson and Barn Farm Drinks, an innovative berry farm and fruit juice producer, retained its AA grade rating for the fourth year under the new Issue 8 of the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety.

The rating followed a two-day inspection in April and brings the business into line with a rigorous new standard which has only been in force since February.

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The standard provides a framework to manage product safety, integrity, legality and quality in food and food ingredient manufacturing, processing and packing. It also acts as a food safety benchmark for major retailers and is the most widely used food safety standard in the world.

Barn Farm Drinks managing director and company co-founder Craig Williamson said: "We're delighted to have retained our AA grade rating for the BRC Global Standard of Food.

Strawberries at D C Williamson's farm  Picture: BARN FARM/EMMA KINDREDStrawberries at D C Williamson's farm Picture: BARN FARM/EMMA KINDRED

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"The audits are always rigorous, even more so this year with the introduction of the new Issue 8, but we are thrilled with the results. Achieving the highest rating possible for four years in a row is no mean feat and thanks must go to the team. It is a testament to their hard work and dedication - we couldn't do it without them.

"For us achieving the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is critical. It means large retailers can be reassured that our berries and fruit juices are produced to the highest hygiene, quality and safety standards.

D C Williamson and Barn Farm Drinks makes 100% fruit juice products with no added sugar using only fruit it grows itself or is grown locally, it says. It also strives to minimise its environmental impact.

"I'm very proud that we're able to operate to such a high standard while staying true to our values and roots," said Craig.

D C Williamson, based at Barn Farm, was founded in 2000 by husband and wife Craig and Gail Williamson. It specialises in soft fruit, stem fruit and bush fruit farming, providing both fresh and frozen fruit to retailers.

It also produces Barn Farm Drinks - a range of five fruit juices which are pressed and bottled on site at Barn Farm, using berries which are grown directly on the farm in fields overlooking the River Stour. Barn Farm Drinks launched 18 months ago and has already achieved listings in more than 190 locations including more than 90 East of England Co-op stores, along with a number of farm shops, independent retailers, pubs and cafés.

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