Northern Powerhouse Farmer Stories: Flavourfresh Salads Ltd

18 October 2022

A woman from flavourfresh surrounded by tomatoes

Growing 6,897 tonnes of unrivalled quality produce per annum from their base in West Lancashire is Flavourfresh Salads Ltd, one of Britain’s leading commercial glasshouse growers.

Globally recognised for their flavoursome tomatoes, the company specialises 75% of its production capacity on 2,700 tonnes of tomatoes each year to supply the UK’s major retailers: Asda, M&S, Booths, Co-op and Morrisons.

To meet growing demand a new greenhouse, one of the most state of the art in the country standing at seven metres tall, was erected in 2018 costing Flavourfresh £2.5 million.

Working in partnership with Berry Gardens, who have exclusive rights to the Driscoll strawberry varieties, Flavourfresh grows 600 tonnes of strawberries and 97 tonnes of Victoria blackberries each year.

These fruits are sold as premium products to Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, and M&S. The company spends £1 million per annum globally sourcing and propagating seeds.

Flavourfresh also collaborate with leading industry scientists and seed companies to plant, grow and refine up to 100 new trial varieties for tomato flavour perfection.

Recognising that bumblebees are the perfect plant pollinators, the company spends £46,000 each year on colonies of bees from Spanish company Agrobío for the glasshouses.

The company spends £5.1 million a year on salaries for 189 full time staff and additional seasonal workers. Across the business 57% of workers are EU nationals, so continued access to the EU labour market is vital.

Onsite accommodation and free Wi-Fi are available to seasonal staff, helping maintain returnee rate each year which is currently 67% but has dipped slightly since Brexit.

Embracing technology and the environment, Flavourfresh along with their energy partner invested £7 million on four combining heat and power (CHP) engines which are managed externally.

These engines generate electricity and heat to aid production efficiencies and yields with surplus electricity sold to nearby housing developments.

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