Carrot grower and supplier
Freshgro has said that carrot crop volume and quality are currently better than
had been anticipated earlier in the season.
“We may be looking at a
slightly shorter season and may have to import earlier than normal, but we are
still out looking at the fields to see how the growth is coming along,” Alan
Hunt from Freshgro said. “We are hoping that we will have carrots until mid-May
but it might be only till the end of April.
“It is a lot better than we
thought it would be. We thought we’d be short of 40 mm plus sizes, but that has
not been the case. There were less carrots, so the sizes are better.” However,
he stressed that he was only able to speak for Nottinghamshire-based Freshgro,
which was able to irrigate its crops. He also said that the hot weather over
the summer had subdued demand, meaning that it was possible to supply the crop
for longer than first anticipated.
Freshgro is known as a
grower of Chantenay carrots and Alan said the situation is the same for both
Chantenay and maincrop types.
6th generation Staffordshire farmers R & RW Bartlett have announced an expansion and eco-friendly investment in the production of carrot and parsnip crops, which the company says has been made possible due to the confidence provided by Aldi’s ‘clear forecasting.’
As well as buying new cultivation machinery, the investment will go on environmental initiatives such as low energy LED lighting and new waste and water recycling facilities. The company grows more than 8,000 tonnes of root crops a year and says the expansion will create 60 new jobs.
“Working with Aldi has enabled us to continually invest to improve efficiencies, while producing the highest quality veg,” Commercial Manager Laura Bartlett told the Fresh Produce Journal. “Their simple ways of working, close communication and clear forecasting helps us to grow year on year –in terms of our yield, employees and revenue.”
Julie Ashfield of Aldi UK added, “Our approach is to build partnerships with our suppliers that are based on trust and fairness. It’s always good to hear how this helps our farmers to invest back into their land and facilities and we look forward to working with the team in the years to come.”
I don’t know what your Dutch is like, but there is a translation based on one of my reports in here:
A magazine full of inspiring interviews and useful information about cultivation, trade and trends in the range of carrots. The root is in the top 10 food crops worldwide and carotenoids have a positive impact on health. With the Bejo root magazine Bejo informs its growers and relations about the root market and growing areas in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Japan and the US.
Dutch-based Farm Frites has added a new sweet potato French fry to its range, claiming that the new line has a longer chip length and shorter cooking time than other offerings.
It is hoped that the new product will help boost the profitability of caterers by giving them a product which makes consumers want to trade up. “The retail market in the UK has seen a 120 per cent year-on-year uplift in sweet potato sales and the trend to upgrade to a premium side order continues to be strong,” explained the firm’s marketing manager for the UK and Ireland, Nic Townsend.
“Our sweet potato fry cooks in just one and a half to two minutes but this speed is not at the expense of taste. This chip has a fluffy texture, a crunchy bite and a quality taste… We’ve designed this fry to be longer than standard to continue the premium theme.”
“Consumers like premiumisation and the ability to customise their meal. Sweet potato is not just a popular choice that customers expect to see on a menu, it’s a profitable choice for operators who can make a good margin on a simple product upgrade.”
Tong Engineering has announced a number of new design options for its Fieldloader in-field grader and bulker loading system, including automatic transport-mode features which allow users to make the machine even more compact for road transportation.
“Our Fieldloader is increasingly popular with growers as it means soil is removed in the field and kept off the public roads, plus transport of crop is significantly reduced as there is a no need to transport crop to a central yard or location” explained Charlie Rich, Export Sales Manager at Tong Engineering. “It significantly reduces crop handling times, allowing growers to meet tight deadlines and deliver crop in optimum condition straight from the field.”
The new model of the machine incorporates a transport-mode option featuring a powered elevator section that automatically retracts back under the cleaning and inspecting sections of the machine, making the unit as short as possible when towing on the road. Foldable conveyors are also a feature on the transport-mode design to make the Fieldloader as narrow as possible. The machine is also available with a choice of crop cleaning systems including Tong’s EasyClean separator adjustable coil cleaning unit.
Thetford-based Elveden Farms is currently operating a custom-built Fieldoader, designed to clean and load the farm’s carrot and onion crop straight from the field. Farm Manager Andrew Francis commented, “Our original Fieldloader from Tong has streamlined our post-harvest crop handling times and has allowed us to achieve a very quick turnaround from field to bulker lorries. Our second Fieldloader is now in production and we look forward to increasing our capacity even further.”