What are your top tips the perfect potato for Roast potatoes?
Funnily enough, the shake after you boil them is the absolute key!
What have been the highlights from your partnership with the East of England Co-op this year?
We’ve always worked really closely with the East of England Co-op, and this year has been no exception. Throughout a tough period for everyone, we’ve been so pleased to see our sales grow and we put a lot of that down to the personal touch. We believe that the East of England Co-op cares about us and is invested in our success. In fact, our buyer was the first person to visit us on the farm in 18 months, which was a sign of things returning to normal and a real boost to the team. We really believe that to understand a small business like ours you need to see it for yourself, and so visits from our contacts at the East of England Co-op to the family farm are always welcome. We also appreciate that we can just pick up the phone and ask questions if we need to, and we can only see this relationship growing stronger in time.
What does 2022 hold for Fairfields?
2022 will be a really exciting time for the business. We’ve come out of the pandemic in a strong position to grow, and we’ve made investments on the farm to help us along – new lines to wash potatoes, and new equipment to make our factory more efficient. We’re particularly excited, though, to be really focusing on what a sustainable future means for us.
What steps are Fairfield’s taking for a more sustainable future?
When we took on the farm in 2006, we were determined to leave it in better condition than we found it for future generations. We really do believe we have a duty here; with the country’s self-sufficiency dropping year on year it’s all the more important that the land is put to efficient – and environmentally sympathetic – use. We already have a lot going on at the farm, including tree planting programmes, our solar panel array and the anaerobic digestion plant (which gets fed maize and rye and makes energy), but we know we can do more, particularly when it comes to biodiversity.
Just over 10% of our land is dedicated to wild bird cover, which means we plant spaces in which birds can thrive. We also scatter feed for them through winter until Spring, at a time of year when it’s difficult for them to find food. Winter is also the time when we repair ditches and hedgerows, which are so important to biodiversity. This year, we’re really putting focus on the little things that add up and can help us achieve an overall ambition to be carbon neutral. For example, when harvest is finished, we’re planting non-food crops which maintain soil integrity rather than ploughing and leaving fields, which releases carbon into the air. Of course, we’re always looking at ways to reduce the impact of things like our packaging, too, with some really exciting changes in the pipeline.
To find out more: www.fairfieldsfarmcrisps.co.uk
Pop to your local East of England Co-op to find great Sourced Locally products! *