The Jersey Royal Company Ltd is the largest farmer on the Island. It is a completely integrated business – growing, harvesting, grading, packing and marketing the internationally recognised and protected Jersey Royal new potato to a wide number of retailers, wholesalers, packers and processors.
Farmer: Mike Renouard
Address: The Jersey Royal Company Ltd, Southfork, Rue du Trot, St Saviour, Jersey JE2 7JQ
Member since 1997 and LEAF Demonstration Farm since 2020
As the largest farm on Jersey, farming around 8,300 vergées (1,800 ha) annually across 1,800 fields and employing up to 450 staff, it is a fully integrated business growing, packing and supplying around 20,000 tonnes of the internationally recognised and protected Jersey Royal new potatoes to more than 180 different destinations.
The Jersey Royal Company produces 65% of Jersey Royals, supply most major supermarkets and use their own brand on the island. They have also recently planted a large tea enterprise. Land is put in to cover crops quickly to prevent wind and water erosion and are targeted depending on soil requirements and pest levels. Barley and legume mixes are used often on steeper land and are then mown (using automated mover) and ploughed in for green manuring properties. Land is ploughed uphill by winch. The land is also rotated with Jersey Dairy Farmers.
There is a range of soil types across the business and soil testing done in every field twice a year. N placement technology is used on 90% of the cropped land. Various IPM measures are used to prevent PCN including land-swaps with dairy farmers, growing the majority of potatoes under plastic, using virus free varieties, using prickly potatoes and following potatoes with hot mustard as a biofumigation crop.
Potato waste from the pack house goes to dairy cows. Plastic from potatoes is reused and then sent to the mainland for recycling. The business is working to reduce packaging waste and extend shelf life of the packed product. JRC have also collaborated with a local entrepreneur to produce Royal Mash vodka from waste potatoes.
Nitrogen use has been reduced by 10% by using Precision Farming techniques and JRC is collaborating with the Jersey Government to reduce water pollution- The business plays a leading role in a water catchment project looking to reduce N leaching.
JRC invest heavily in R&D to modify and improve growing techniques to get a better, more consistent potato to supply to the market – projects include: own grown virus free mini tuber production, fertiliser placement, GPS soil sampling, own soil laboratory to accurately monitor samples taken annually from all fields, bio-fumigants against PCN.
The company works with the local “birds on the edge” initiative and is in a Jersey Countryside Scheme. Bird mixes are placed on land in the east and south of the island as this in the migratory path and they have done work with a number of local interest groups.
JRC participates in Open Farm Sunday, regularly contributes to local newspapers and engages with the local community to build up goodwill where possible.
The Jersey Royal Company welcomes visitors by appointment. If you are interested in visiting this LEAF Demonstration Farm, then please contact [email protected]. Thank you.