AC Goatham & Son is investing in the expansion of its farm infrastructure with the construction of a new 12 chamber cold store at Howt Green Farm, nr Sittingbourne. The new cold store will be finished summer 2018 and further cold stores are planned including Swanton Farm, Bredgar, subject to planning approval.
There will be further investment into farm infrastructure and buildings taking place during 2018/19 at various farm locations, to provide new facilities for seasonal workers and to house machinery.
Ross Goatham, Managing Director at AC Goatham & Son comments: “There is an industry wide lack of modern cold storage facilities here in Kent. We are continuing to invest for our future to ensure we can supply the British public with the best quality apples and pears for longer each season.”
“To support the planting of our new orchards, we need to have this infrastructure in place to store the fruit once harvested. It makes sense to build or improve facilities at our individual farms around the county, to help reduce vehicle movements during the harvest period and crucially to get the field heat out of the fruit as soon as possible. This will help to ensure that the fruit stores for longer, so it will be available for longer in British supermarkets for consumers.”
AC Goatham & Son has 27 farms across Medway and Kent and in 2017 grew 200m apples and 50m pears.
Ross Goatham concludes: “All businesses need to invest to build a successful future. Despite the challenges which Brexit will bring for our industry, we are very confident that with this investment, the British top fruit sector is well placed for a sustainable future.”