Potatoes are James Foskett Farms most important crop and around 800 acres of ware are grown each year. The whole crop is marketed through East Suffolk Produce (ESP) based at Low Farm Bromeswell. Presently over 50% are marketed to GreenvaleAP and Branston to be packed for Tesco and Sainsburys. The rest are marketed to Morrisons, QV Foods, Manor Fresh, Solanum, Linroyale, IPL and various other packers, who pack for all the multiples and major catering outlets.
To produce top quality packing potatoes the Farm has invested heavily in modern planting, harvesting and grading machinery as well as making use of up-to-date technology on such things as irrigation monitoring and RTK precision-steering on tractors to give more accuracy with applications. We also employ an independent potato specialist to supply advice and agronomy.
Potatoes are all harvested direct into boxes and sent direct to the customer or graded into different size bands, chilled and dispatched next day.
Varieties include Maris Peer, Annabelle and Charlotte which are all grown as salads or scrapers. Marfona, Laura and Estima are grown for early bakers and Maris Piper, Lanorma and King Edwards are for early pre-packing.
The kind climate and sandy soils in East Suffolk enable us to grow early crops of potatoes which are generally sold straight off the field in summer. Very few crops are stored, because we struggle to achieve good skin finish. Up to 200 acres of crops are fleeced every year to promote earliness and protect the plants from late frosts.