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Our Growers


East Suffolk Produce was formed in 2013 and originally comprised of James Foskett Farms Ltd, Greenwell Farms, Home Farm (Nacton) Ltd, William Wrinch Farms. In 2014 we took on new members RJ & HW Wrinch and JA Low and Sons with Wix Farms joining in 2016. In total this represents circa 1200 Ha’s of Potatoes.

All our farms have a diverse range of conventional cropping including wheat, barley, sugar beet, cabbages, cauliflower and onions. Home Farm Nacton and James Foskett Farms also have organic units as part of their businesses and grow a broad range of organically certified crops. In all this equates to roughly 4,500 Ha’s of farmed land. If you want to find out more visit the web links on the grower tabs below.
Mike Shapland and James Foskett
photo: Mike Shapland and James Foskett

James Foskett Farms Ltd is an established family Farming Business based in Bromeswell near Woodbridge in East Suffolk where it has been growing crops in the Deben Valley for  over 60 years. Soil types are mainly sands or sandy loams which enable us to produce high value vegetable crops with the help of Irrigation which is extremely important in such a dry part of the country. The close proximity of the coast and the North Sea make sure spring frosts and high summer temperatures are not as severe in this area as further inland giving us a unique chance to grow early crops of good quality. Our land base amounts to 1000 Ha’s which is partly owned and partly rented, either on FBT’s or annual cropping licenses’ with various landowners. We grow a good mix of crops which include seed potatoes, ware potatoes, onions, organic crops, sugar beet and cereals.

Potatoes have always been the backbone of the business and huge investment has gone into state of the art grading, storage, growing and harvesting of our crops to satisfy our customers and make sure we are taking full advantage of modern technology if we can. We presently grow 400 Ha’s of which 120 Ha is certified seed. Onions have also become a very important crop to James Foskett Farms and we now grow in excess of 175 ha which are all destined for the multiples. Under our control we have storage for 7000 tonnes of onions in very modern up to date 3.5 tonne cold box storage and cold bulk stores, so we can keep the onions right up to May and the beginning of June before being marketed to Tesco and M&S via G’s Growers. Organic vegetable production was started in 2009 after two years of land conversion. We have a good range of crops to give us a sensible rotation which is essential in organic and all other crop production. Crops include potatoes, onions, green beans, carrots, sweet corn, butternut squash, courgettes, beetroot and fertility building crops.
James Foskett Farms are very conscious of the environment and have been proud to have been members of the countryside stewardship scheme in the past which has enabled the business to replant all the hedges and plant field corners with trees.  Nineteen percent of our own farm is uncropped and has a huge variety of wildlife, especially as we are in a river valley with reed beds and other favourable habitats. James Foskett Farms are proud of all the marketing accreditations it holds, these include Assured Combinable Crop Scheme, Assured Produce, M&S Field to Fork, Leaf Marque, Tesco Nurture, Little Red Tractor and are members of the Safe Haven Scheme for seed potatoes. We are also members of Organic Farmers and Growers.

The essence of the business is to produce a product of the right quality at the right time to suit the customer.

Visit the James Foskett Farms Ltd website
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Matt Gregory, Greenwell Estates
photo: Matt Gregory

The Greenwell Estate and Farms are situated on the east coast near to the Suffolk town of Woodbridge.  The coastal location of the farms gives a climatic advantage, both in early spring and late autumn in the fact that they are relatively frost free.

The farmed area extends to 1230 hectares, of which 800 hectares are currently included in a contract farming agreement with Velcourt Limited and Greenwell farms. A further 130 hectares at Hill Farm has been added to the above agreement under a Farm Business Tenancy with a further 235 hectares under a contract farming arrangement with Velcourt Ltd and Stanny House Farm. Annual rents and land swaps are also part of the business model allowing for expansion in potato area both for Ware and seed.

Cropping rotations are dependent upon soil type:

a) Silty clay loam rotation: sugar beet, wheat, wheat, wheat.
This is a typical rotation concentrating on sugar beet one in four years.  Having an area of spring cropping on this soil type requires a dry period to establish a crop of sugar beet, but a wet spring may mean that crop establishment may not happen until middle to the end of April.
b) The rotation on the lighter land revolves around 280 hectares of potatoes, 11500 tonnes sugar beet, 8,000 tonnes of dry bulb onions and land swaps between another local farm business meaning brassica’s, sweet corn and Swedes are grown. A typical rotation would be:  potatoes, cereal, sugar beet/Sweet Corn, cereal, onions
280 hectares of potatoes are grown, made up of first earlies, early bakers, salad potatoes and second crop, which are marketed through ESP against contracts where possible.  Potatoes are grown no closer than 1 in 5 years.
160 hectares of onions are produced (25 ha early sets and 135 ha main crop bulb onions). All production is stored on farm in boxes or bulk, cold or Ambient and is all grown for Tesco. This business is a member of G’s Growers.
Sugar beet is grown in conjunction with British Sugar and delivered to the Bury St Edmunds factory.

c) All businesses subscribe via CMI to ACCS, APS, F2F and LEAF marque.
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Enviromental Aims


1. To maintain an environmentally acceptable environment on the Estates, whilst producing the maximum quantity and quality of produce from the land area by controlling the use of herbicides, pesticides and all other direct inputs.
2. Maintain the habitats present for nature conservation by non-intervention whenever possible.
3. Maintain footpaths and bridleways in good condition ensuring they are safe for the public’s use.
4. Maintenance and development of all environmental habitats on the Estate.
Andrew Williams, Farm Manager Home Farm Nacton
Photo: Andrew Williams, Farm Manager.

Home Farm Nacton comprises 1,170 hectares of high quality agricultural land on the historic Orwell Park Estate, on the north bank of Suffolk’s Orwell estuary.

The farm is a patchwork of woodland, heath, grass and arable land – used for organic vegetable production as well as conventional vegetables and cereals. In total we grow over thirty different crops.

We’re currently working on 140 hectares under Soil Association organic certification. The farm is also LEAF marque and Red Tractor certified.
In the last 18 years the business has been shaped by a high level of investment in water management and irrigation, removing a constraint which once limited production to potatoes, carrots, sugar beet and cereals with limited yields and returns. The majority of our farmed area is light land which can be worked year round, the downside being that without irrigation it was difficult to compete in terms of producing mainstream crops. With the capability to irrigate 98 per cent of our farmed area we focus on high-value crops, mainly early-season crops which are harvested from May to July and are followed by winter-harvested second crops. Potentially, we are planting and harvesting crops every day of the year so we work the land hard, but as our focus is on farming sustainably we enhance the soil’s status by returning manures, compost and cover crops.

The farm is at the heart of the local community its customers ranging from the public to local farm shops, wholesalers, box schemes, pack houses and supermarkets.
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Home Farm is situated in The Street, Nacton; the office is a portion of Camilla court. Behind Camilla Court there is a coldstore where direct sales are collected and lorries are loaded. Beyond this there are crop stores, workshops, and machinery stores. There is also a second yard at Felixstowe Road which has an extensive concrete area with a large onion drying and storage facility. We also have other farm buildings and yards at some of our farm contract partners’ facilities.
Alan Pendle & William Wrinch, E H Wrinch & Son
photo: Alan Pendle & William Wrinch

William Wrinch Farms is a family run business that has been farming at Ness Farm since the mid 1840’s, the sixth generation is now part of the business. The holding has a mainly south facing aspect on the North bank of the River Stour with around three miles of river frontage.

The farm runs to 800 ha of which 500 ha is owned and the balance rented on an FBT. The farm has expanded greatly in the last ten years or so by the purchase of adjoining units which has led to the formation of the present unit, the whole holding is farmed within a ring fence and enjoys all the advantages that such a scenario brings.

The riverside aspect of the farm brings its own challenges with a wide mix of soil types ranging from outcrops of London clay to areas of light stony soils. In between these extremes there are clay loams which are suited to maincrop production and sandy loams that produce a range of salad crops, in total just over 90ha of potatoes are grown. These are grown in a ratio of approximately 40% maincrop and 60% salads and never in closer rotation of 1 in 6 years. There is a 1500 tonne cold store from which crop, mainly salads are marketed through until April or even occasionally May of the following year.
In addition to potatoes the other following crops are grown, onions (31 ha), sugar beet (125 ha) with the balance made up of winter wheat, winter and spring barley and oilseed rape. A small herd of beef suckler cows is run on grassland which is unsuitable for cultivation.
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Everything produced on the farm is done so in accordance with the following schemes: Red Tractor – Fresh Produce, Tesco NURTURE, M & S Field to Fork, LEAF Marque, Red Tractor – Combinable Crops & Sugar Beet and Red Tractor – Beef.

Around half of the farm’s area is situated in an AONB and the policy has always been to adopt a positive approach to environmental and conservation issues. The farm were early members of FWAG when it was formed over thirty years ago and in the intervening years a large amount of tree and hedge planting has taken place. William Wrinch Farms have joined the recently formed Shotley Peninsular Facilitation group and are currently in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. The farm sits adjacent to the Stour SSSI which is also a Ramsar site.

Over the years the farm has won various awards including both the livestock and conservation prizes in the Suffolk Agricultural Association’s farms competition and at national level the Farmer’s Weekly / RASE Milling Wheat Grower of the Year award.
Hazel & Richard Wrinch
photo: Hazel & Richard Wrinch

We are the third generation of this branch of the Wrinch family to farm 520 acres of mixed arable land and a further 110 acres of marshland which is part of the Orwell SSSI - a nationally important area for wading birds. It is also a RAMSAR site and a SPA (Special Protection Area). Within these areas can be found at least 8 species listed in the BAP including Tawny and Little Owls, the corn bunting, yellowhammers, linnets and lapwing. Over 96 species of birds have been identified on the farm. Come and try to spot them. The River Orwell is considered by some to be the most ornithologically diverse estuary in Suffolk.
As our marshes are situated in close proximity to both the Orwell and Stour rivers and to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve on the Trimley marshes, they are of vital importance for breeding, passage migrant and wintering waders and wildfowl.
The working farm is situated at Shotley Hall Farm but we also contract farm for other farmers and rent Potato land in to enable us to utilise our Potato machinery more efficiently. Like many farms we used to be a mixed arable and livestock unit but we sold our pig herd in 2007 and our beef herd in 2002 as we were struggling to make them pay. Today the farm is purely arable and we grow Winter Wheat, Winter Barley, Spring Barley, Triticale, Oil Seed Rape, Sugar Beet, Potatoes and Onions.
We see ourselves as custodians of the land for our lifetime. The land is ours from which to derive our livelihood and then to pass on to the next generation in as good health (or even better) than when we took it on.
In the summer of 2007 we were privileged to be awarded the Kerr Cup which is the Suffolk FWAG's (Farming & Wildlife Group) Farm Conservation Award which reflects our care for habitats. We also joined the DEFRA Higher Level conservation Scheme.

The Farm has also diversified into Holiday accommodation utilising its coastal setting to its advantage to attract people to come and share the beautiful coastal Suffolk setting. Hazel Wrinch also runs a B & B business which is run separately to the Holiday accommodation business.

Orwell View Barns

www.orwellviewbarns.co.uk
www.wrinchfarmstay.co.uk
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Matt Low and daughter
photo: Matt Low

J A Low & Son is a family farming partnership based at Lodge Farm, St. Osyth not far from the Essex coast.

Our core business is producing potatoes and onions for the packing sector of the markets, for which we grow on average 60 hectares of both crops every year.

We farm a further 300 hectares with crops that include winter wheat, winter and spring barley, sugar beet, oilseed rape and spring linseed to balance the rotation.

Wix Farms Ltd is an amalgamation of three neighbouring farms in the Tendring Hundred. Based predominantly at Hempstalls Farm, Wix on the A120 between Colchester and Harwich.

Our aim is to produce high quality Potatoes and Onions predominantly for the packing sector. We have over 750ha owned within the business and rent in further root land on an annual basis. We grow a good mix of crops alongside Potatoes and Onions, including Milling Wheat, Malting Barley, Oil seed Rape, Seed Peas, Maize and Turf.

We have invested heavily in winter water storage and crop storage since the conception of Wix Farms in 2008 and as a result have plenty of water available in order to produce consistent quality. Along with high tech stores offering 2800 tonnes of onion storage alongside 1600 tonnes of potato storage.

Wix Farms is very environmentally friendly, with the whole farm having been in the old Entry Level Stewardship scheme and is currently aiming to join the new Mid Tier scheme. We are also Leaf Marque, Tesco Nurture, M & S Field to Fork and Assured Produce.
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Wix Farms Ltd is an amalgamation of three neighbouring farms in the Tendring Hundred. Based predominantly at Hempstalls Farm, Wix on the A120 between Colchester and Harwich.

Our aim is to produce high quality Potatoes and Onions predominantly for the packing sector. We have over 750ha owned within the business and rent in further root land on an annual basis. We grow a good mix of crops alongside Potatoes and Onions, including Milling Wheat, Malting Barley, Oil seed Rape, Seed Peas, Maize and Turf.

We have invested heavily in winter water storage and crop storage since the conception of Wix Farms in 2008 and as a result have plenty of water available in order to produce consistent quality. Along with high tech stores offering 2800 tonnes of onion storage alongside 1600 tonnes of potato storage.

Wix Farms is very environmentally friendly, with the whole farm having been in the old Entry Level Stewardship scheme and is currently aiming to join the new Mid Tier scheme. We are also Leaf Marque, Tesco Nurture, M & S Field to Fork and Assured Produce.
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