Priti backs local blackcurrant farmer
Witham’s MP, Priti Patel, has visited Feeringbury Manor to show her support for local farmers. Feeringbury Manor is famous for its blackcurrants, which have just been harvested to supply Ribena to the UK soft drinks manufacturer Suntory Beverage & Food. Priti called in on Friday 12th August 2022 for a tour and catch up with owner Giles Coode-Adams.
With just over 90 percent of all British grown blackcurrants being used to make Ribena, ensuring the long-term viability of the environments they grow in, is vital for future harvests. That is why even during the busy harvest season, biodiversity and sustainability remains a top priority for the business and its growers across the UK.
Priti also visited the ground’s famous gardens, which are open to the public, on selected days during the year. During her tour, Priti saw the blackcurrant plantation and the other crops grown at the Feeringbury Manor which include grapes for wine and willows for making cricket bats. The MP was also shown the abundant wildlife living on the farm. Before the tour, Giles and Priti had a meeting to discuss the key issues affecting blackcurrant farming and the industry in general, including the importance of protecting local wildlife.
Priti, who last visited Feeringbury Manor in 2019, said: “It was great to see the farm again and to hear about this year’s blackcurrant harvest. It’s a wonderful advertisement for agriculture in Essex that one of our local farms is growing the blackcurrants used in a world-famous drink. I also enjoyed visiting the gardens and I commend Giles for keeping them looking amazing during this long hot summer.”
“Our local farmers do a fantastic job growing food and crops and I had a good discussion with Giles about the current challenges facing the farming industry. In these difficult economic times, we are more than ever reliant upon our farmers to ensure the continuity of our food supply and I am pleased to champion our rural businesses. I am grateful for the opportunity to visit the frontline and keep in touch with the latest situation in the farming industry.”
Giles Coode-Adams said: “It is always a pleasure to see Priti on our farm, I am more than pleased that she took time out to catch up with us and to listen to my thoughts on British farming, blackcurrant growing and the future. Our team has been tirelessly preparing for harvest this year, and we are so grateful for the support we get from Suntory Beverage & Food.”
Harriet Prosser, Agronomist at Suntory Beverage & Food, said: “Giles’s farm in Witham is a great example of how responsible farming practices can protect and enhance wildlife and habitats. Suntory Beverage & Food is proud to support the work of Giles and other farmers around Britain.”
Further information about Feeringbury Manor and its ten acres of gardens and ponds is available at: www.ngs.org.uk/view-garden/8412.