The Jersey Royal Company recognised as centre of excellence for sustainable farming

On the 12th of May 2022, The Jersey Royal Company was officially launched as a LEAF Demonstration Farm in recognition of its high environmental standards and commitment to more sustainable and climate positive farming practices.

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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 has a long-standing association with LEAF and was the first farm on the Island to become a member more than 25 years ago and went on to achieve LEAF Marque certification in 2005. In recent years, the business has been instrumental in driving forward a ground-breaking partnership with The Government of Jersey, which resulted in all the Island’s dairy and arable farmers becoming LEAF Marque certified in 2019 – making Jersey the first LEAF Marque Island in the world.

With a continuous drive to implement more sustainable and nature-based farming excellence, through Integrated Farm Management, the business aims to continually reduce inputs, minimise energy use, reduce waste, sustainably manage soil and water, boost biodiversity and enhance landscape features and wildlife habitats.

Speaking at the launch Mike Renouard, Business Unit Director at The Jersey Royal Company said:

“Integrated Farm Management is a real driver throughout the business. We continually look to develop, improve, and streamline practices to be more efficient, but crucially, more sustainable. We are delighted to have been recognised by LEAF for our approach to advancing more climate positive farming and we greatly look forward to the role we can play as a both a Demonstration Farm and LEAF Marque certified business, in sharing our vision and inspiring other farmers.

We are incredibly proud that The Jersey Royal still leads the market as the best-tasting, fresh, true seasonal new potato and is still one of only a few brands in the fruit and veg sector. It is also vital that consumers are aware of the steps farmers are taking to advance better, smarter, more sustainable farming solutions. We are proud and honoured to have joined LEAF’s UK wide network of Demonstration Farms and excited about the opportunities it will offer as a platform for knowledge exchange and public engagement.”

Vicky Robinson, LEAF Director, Technical added:

“This year LEAF celebrates its 30th anniversary and since its inception, LEAF Demonstration Farms have been core to all that LEAF stands for – innovation, practical and farmer led. We are embarking on an exciting new era and we remain as committed as ever to bold, ambitious and creative approaches to developing and promoting more sustainable, regenerative and circular farming and food systems. Our next 10-year strategy is built around three central themes focused on backing innovation, bringing together some of the smartest minds in agriculture, ensuring strong market incentives to drive uptake of more sustainable farming practices and connecting people with their food and how it is produced. LEAF’s network of Demonstration Farms and Innovation Centres are critical in ensuring that sustainable farming practices, delivered through IFM and evidenced by rigorous scientific research, reaches farmers on the ground. We are hugely honoured to welcome The Jersey Royal Company to the LEAF Network and delighted to take our long partnership to the next level.”

LEAF also announced the publication of the latest in its series of sustainable farming guidance booklets – Simply Sustainable Plastics, setting out simple and practical ways for farmers to manage on farm plastic waste more sustainably. Attendees saw examples of best practice in action and learnt how The Jersey Royal Company are cutting plastic waste by reducing the area of potatoes grown under cover by approximately 150Ha (20%), with this plastic being used twice before being shipped back to the UK to be recycled. In addition, the company also aims to have 100% of its pre-pack packaging to be fully recyclable by next season.

As a LEAF Demonstration Farm, The Jersey Royal Company joins 38 other Demonstration Farms from every farming sector and will promote the sustainable farming principles of IFM to other farmers as well as to industry organisations, politicians and community groups. The launch was attended by His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey, Air Chief Marshal, Sir Stephen Dalton GCB and supported by Agrii, Jersey Water, Farm Jersey, Jersey Farmers Union, Rubis and David Dumosch, Agricultural and Horticultural Merchants.

Simply Sustainable Plastics is the sixth in LEAF’s Simply Sustainable Series of technical guidance booklets covering soil, water, biodiversity, biosecurity and Integrated Pest Management. They are all free to download here.