Award: Soft Fruit Grower of the Year
Comments: Oli Pascall, farms production manager
What are your key goals/priorities as a business for 2020?
We plan to strongly focus on our environmental credentials, including the sustainable supply of water for the future, while still hitting our growth target of just over 10%. We will also continue to focus on enhancing our accommodation facilities.
What do you regard as the biggest opportunity for you as a business (or for your sector) in 2020 and why?
Our motto is that we supply “the good, the better and the best” fruit, and so for us the biggest opportunity is the chance to continue to maintain a good-quality supply of fruit for the standard and mid-tier markets as well as being able to develop, strengthen and expand our premium product ranges through the Driscoll varieties that, as a Berry Gardens grower, are available for us to use.
What do you feel will be the biggest challenge for you as a business (or for your sector) in 2020 and why?
At Clock House Farm we do quite well at recruiting because we work hard at our recruitment and make sure that we have a highly-skilled team. But the availability of labour is a challenge for the UK’s fruit sector.
The UK’s seasonal labour policy needs a clear way forward but, because there’s political indecision on the subject, that’s what we are really lacking
at the moment. There are lots of people around the world who want to come and earn good money working on UK farms and our country will benefit hugely from that.
What was the best thing about winning a Horticulture Week Business Award for you as a business?
I think it draws us in as a team. It recognises collectively how good everyone is at what we are doing. So, it’s a really positive thing as team to have that achievement.