British Sugar aims to extend horticulture

Cornerways Nursery owner looks into adding horticulture production facilities to its factories to expand tomato growing.

Tomatoes: boost for production - image: Cornerways Nursery
Tomatoes: boost for production - image: Cornerways Nursery

The owner of one of the UK's largest state-of-the-art glasshouses is hoping to expand its tomato production.

British Sugar, the owner of Cornerways Nursery, is studying the feasibility of adding horticulture production facilities to its other factories.

Cornerways, located beside British Sugar's factory in Wissington, Norfolk, is currently the UK's largest glasshouse of its kind exclusively used to grow tomatoes.

The sugar factory's by-products of hot water and CO2 are used by the glasshouse to create ideal tomato-growing conditions.

Grower Paul Simmonds, in his new role as business development manager, is currently looking into whether the company could use a similar model at any of its other locations.

Simmonds, a member of the NFU horticulture and potatoes board, told Grower: "At the moment there is no hard fast plan - I have only been doing this job for six months - but we are looking to develop our business a bit more.

"We have four sugar factories and only one of them has a greenhouse so we are looking at possible ways that we could utilise our resources from our other factories. Utilising resources that are already there is a really nice way of doing it."

Such a project would not just be a case of mimicking what has already been done at Wissington because each location has different requirements, he added.

"All of our factories are very different. One is out in the Broads, one is out in Bury St Edmunds. The factory in Norwich, for example, still burns coal in a coal boiler."

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