A. J and C. I Snell is one of the UK's leading fresh and frozen fruit growers. Based near Ross on Wye in South Herefordshire, the 450 acre farm produces nearly 1,300 tonnes of strawberries every year plus raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and redcurrants, along with a further 700 tonnes of conventional and organic blackcurrants. The business also includes retailer packing facilities and a pallet freezer store offering freezer storage, blast freezing and online British Frozen Fruit sales. A. J & C. I Snell became LEAF Marque certified in 2007.
Farmer: Anthony Snell
Address: A.J & C.I Snell, Windmill Hill, Harewood End, Hereford, HR2 8JS
Member since 1995 & LEAF Demonstration Farm since 2018
A. J and C. I Snell is one of the UK’s leading fresh and frozen fruit growers. The 450 acre farm produces nearly 1,300 tonnes of strawberries every year plus raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and redcurrants, along with a further 700 tonnes of conventional and organic blackcurrants. The business also includes retailer packing facilities and a pallet freezer store offering freezer storage, blast freezing and online British Frozen Fruit sales. Fruit is Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) and packed onsite.
The focus has always been on the production of better-flavoured varieties for supermarket premium lines for both fresh and frozen markets. As well as soil grown soft fruit, the business also uses sustainable coir substrate for table-top strawberry production. A large proportion of the blackcurrants are grown for Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd, producers of Ribena, on contract, and the business has a range of own branded Windmill Hill Fruits - quality frozen fruit packs aimed specifically at farm shops and independent outlets.
The business ensures high standards of horticultural growing and innovation farmed in an intensive yet sustainable way through the use of modern technologies, polytunnels, irrigation and crop agronomy advances. The business also works closely with Berry Gardens, a farmer owned co-operative. Polytunnels are managed sensitively and habitats are often placed to shield them from view in order to enhance the natural landscape and provide vital links between habitat areas. The business is committed to enhancing biodiversity which includes an ongoing hedgerow and tree planting programme and management of bird populations. Over 49 species of birds have been recorded, one of the highest in the county. These include three species of Raptor, Skylark, Little Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker and both Little and Tawny Owls.
The farm has been at the forefront of research initiatives, often leading the way with pioneering trials including IPM and water and energy recycling.
Organised visits to A.J and C.I Snell take place throughout the year for a broad range of groups including farmers, schools and a wide range of interest groups. The farm also regularly participates in LEAF Open Farm Sunday.
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