Anthony Snell has farming in his blood, being the third generation to manage Pencoyd Farm in Herefordshire. Over the last 15 years Anthony and his wife Christine have not shied away from introducing new initiatives and recently have invested in solar energy, as well as water conservation and recycling with five hectares on the farm now used for rainwater collection.
Anthony says, “We are very proud of what we have achieved over the last 15 years, the farm is very much part of the community with the majority of our employees being local. We also actively support local charities and events such as the local Harvest supper and open the farm up to the public to educate and promote the benefits of local produce and farming.”
Paul Kelsey is the third generation to farm at Quaives Farm, in Kent. The farm has grown soft fruit exclusively since 2000 and its focus on quality is reflected in the numerous audits successfully undertaken annually by the business including Red Tractor, Farm Assurance Leaf and BRC.
The day to day running of the business is managed by Paul and his business partner, Jon Rix. "We are part of a new generation of growers, says Paul, whose focus is to produce high quality, high yielding crops taking all care and due diligence in respect of our customers, employees and the environment.”
“All Jubilee strawberry plants are grown in Coir, which is the outer husk of the coconut shell. The benefits of growing in Coir is that it can retain moisture but also allow air to circulate around the roots of the plants promoting a good healthy plant and as a result sweet, juicy strawberries. Coir is also recyclable and can be used for several years with no adverse effects.”
Jon and Marion Regan’s family farm is also based in Kent on the well-drained sunny slopes of the greensand ridge. Marion’s great-grandfather, Bernard Champion, planted his first crop of strawberries here in 1893, to supply the family’s stand, Champion Bros, in the old Covent Garden market.
Biodiversity flourishes on the farm, which is LEAF Marque accredited (Linking Environment and Farming), working closely with the Kent Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and the Campaign for the Farmed Environment. Biocontrols for pest and disease control are promoted, as are carbon saving, water efficiency, waste reduction, community engagement and ethical employment practices. The farm has recently invested in reservoirs to capture water run off from polytunnels, which have also provided new habitats for wildlife.
Tim Place is the current custodian of Church Farm and can trace the farm’s history back to supplying strawberries to King George’s garden parties at Buckingham Palace back in 1937, unfortunately Jubilee strawberries were not available at the time!
Church Farm is located near to Norwich, close to the Norfolk Broads and covers 900 acres specialising in soft fruit. The success of the farm is due to the quality of its people and their produce, which is achieved by accurate monitoring of irrigation, feed and care of the strawberry plants.