Grower downscales operations to appease local community

Plans by soft fruit grower S&A Produce to drastically downsize its operations to appease local residents have been approved by Herefordshire Council.

The decision follows an extensive process of consultation with the neighbouring community and council officers after a series of objections were made by Arrow Valley Residents Association to S&A's original plan - submitted to the local authority last year - to build 67ha of fixed polytunnels and accommodation for up to 1,000 seasonal staff.

The revised plan has reduced the coverage of polytunnels being erected on its Brierley site from 67ha to 35ha as the company switches to table top production.

However, as reported in Grower in August, redundancies will be made as a result of the adjustment with the number of seasonal workers likely to halve from 1,000 to just 500.

But S&A Produce has welcomed the council's decision. Managing director Frank Green said: "This is an extremely important decision for S&A Produce and we are very pleased with the outcome. We have worked hard to consult with local people, listen to what they have to say and develop sensitive proposals that have taken their views into account. We are pleased that these efforts have been recognised.

"The decision will go a long way towards providing S&A with a sustainable future, where we can invest in the business, make environmental improvements and reduce local impacts and continue providing jobs for local people safe in the knowledge that we have the long-term permission that we need."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What challenges and opportunities lie in store for tomato growers?

What challenges and opportunities lie in store for tomato growers?

The British Tomato Growers Association (TGA) conference today (21 September) heard a range of perspectives on what changes lie in store for the sector and how to anticipate them.

Buoyant demand for UK apples but frost and labour remain concerns

Buoyant demand for UK apples but frost and labour remain concerns

As the British apple season begins, English Apples & Pears (EAP) is warning that growers will feel the effects of both a late frost in spring and also constrained labour supply.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon