Investing In New Growers - Jack Scott
Since we started in 2005 we have always struggled to find enough veg growers in Kent to supply us. The bigger growers who supply supermarkets tend to be more in the middle/north of the country, not that we would use them anyway - intensive farming is not what we are really looking for.
Small scale veg growing is a mission! We have been working with Ovendens, Lasletts and Bradleys since the start, and they are well established family farms. They all agree starting from scratch would be extremely difficult.
That's where we come in.
Last year Jack came to our attention on twitter. He had a small patch and was growing various veg items really as a test run. We met up and happily purchased his surplus crops at a fair price.
He was looking at taking on 5 acres more of land, but was concerned, understandably, about where he would sell off the produce this new land would produce, and what price he would get!
So we struck a deal.
We said we would take all he could produce at a fair price if he did not have another outlet. This gives Jack the confidence to put several £k of plants in the ground, and we get another grower on board as well as chance to influence what goes in the ground. A win win.
Jack has also tied in with Angela's Restaurant in Margate to supply them with their needs too.
This is a great example of Local supporting Local. Jack gets to invest his time in growing his business, knowing that he has committed, fair outlets for his produce. We get another local grower on board expanding our supply base.
I popped down early March for a chat with Jack alongside is new planted 5 acres. We chewed the cud over the weather, the preferences of seedling eating mice (not beetroot) and the difficulty of growing carrots.
Oh, and the best thing about this 'Investment' - our dividend is fantastic Kent Veg with less than 50 food miles on it.