"We want to build a sector-leading business in the growing, packing, procurement and marketing of high-value vegetable and root crops," says Lincolnshire Field Products - and the company is certainly doing everything right. The business has spent more than £5m in the past 18 months but realises throwing money alone at something is never a guarantee of success.
One of the firm's proudest achievements, therefore, has been introducing regular customer listening groups to give clients the opportunity to tell the team exactly what they like and how things can be improved. The team's commitment to its customers is shown by a product growth from 18 to nearly 100 lines in a decade thanks to burgeoning demand.
The money went on a high-humidity cold-storage unit to prolong the UK seasons, manage crop flushes and bridge potential gaps. Lincolnshire Field Products also funded technology to minimise weight loss on fixed-pack weights. Finally, it cut the ribbon on a hi-tech sugar-beat lifter.
But technology goes beyond the gate. It follows the team on to the field in the form of GPS-equipped tractors to save fuel, trim food miles and make growing more precise. The latest thinking, meanwhile, manifests itself in pesticide reduction. The newest pest traps, most efficient crop nutrition and smartest soil mapping have improved efficiency as well as the environment.
And the result of all this, in the past year Tesco has awarded the company half of its organic brassica business, while the supply of pumpkins to Asda has gone up from 50 to 75 per cent.Lincolnshire Field Products takes delivery of more than 120,000 trays of produce a week. All this ensures that the company's "family" of growers not only survives but thrives in the harshest of economic climates.
Heygate Farms Swaffham
New Spitalfields Market, the UK's premier wholesale horticultural market committed to supporting British growers, is proud to sponsor the Vegetable Grower of the Year Award. The sponsorship not only recognises and acknowledges skills and experience, but pays tribute to the dedication to growing quality produce.