HRH The Princess Royal has today Friday 1 December 2017 officially opened the Arthur Goatham building, the new £10m packhouse and coldstore of AC Goatham & Son at Flanders Farm, Hoo.
The Princess was met by the senior management team of AC Goatham & Son, led by Senior Partner Clive Goatham, who gave her a tour around the new state of the art apple and pear facility. Her Royal Highness met members of staff, local dignitaries and unveiled a plaque.
The Arthur Goatham building is named after Clive’s father, who set up the business with his wife Phyllis in 1947. They began as agricultural contractors and together with Clive, purchased their first farm, Street Farm in Hoo in the 1980’s.
Since then they have expanded their fruit growing business across 27 farms in Medway and Kent, growing some 200 million apples and 50 million pears each year which are sold in supermarkets across the UK.
Clive Goatham comments: “I am incredibly proud and honoured for HRH The Princess Royal to have visited Flanders Farm, to have given her a tour of the building and for her to have officially opened it in memory of my late father. My parents would have both been very proud to have been here today and to have seen how the business has grown. It was fantastic for our team to be able to meet Her Royal Highness and for this to have taken place in our 70th anniversary year.”
Ross Goatham, Managing Director and the third generation in the family business comments: “Our 70th anniversary year has been a fantastic year. The future of fruit growing has changed significantly over the last 70 years and we are now competing with growers from across the world, so it is important that we invest in the latest technology throughout our business.”
“We are continuously working together with our 20 partner growers and customers towards providing a secure and sustainable British fruit supply for the future. This will be done by securing more orchard sites and over time replanting apples and pears on new and more efficient growing systems. By 2020 we will have planted in excess of two million new fruit trees.”