Priti visits growing business

Priti with Kings Seeds managing director Tracy Palmer, and horticultural director Andrew Tokely

Priti visits growing business

Published: 24th January 2024 - 5:13 pm Category: Local News

MP for Witham Priti Patel visited local business Kings Seeds, based at Monk’s Farm just outside of Kelvedon, to discuss the issues they have been encountering with selling seeds direct to consumers in Northern Ireland.

Kings Seeds is both well-known and respected with deep roots in the local community of Kelvedon, dating back to their founding in 1888. Since then, the company have become a leading seed supplier with a comprehensive range of vegetable seeds, flower seeds, herb seeds, organic seeds and gardening sundries. Kings Seeds are also Britain’s biggest sweet pea producer for the home gardener, with many of the sweet peas grown on farm in the Witham constituency, and which at harvest time fill the surrounding fields in full bloom.

However, due to policy implementation problems associated with the Government’s Windsor Framework, King Seeds is currently unable to sell their products directly to home gardeners in Northern Ireland, resulting in many customers unable to purchase Kings Seeds products. Priti is working with Kings Seeds to address this issue and has already raised this with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and DEFRA ministers.

Priti said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Kings Seeds which is fantastic local employer which puts its local roots at the heart of their ethos as a company. I was pleased to tour the site in Kelvedon to meet with their employees who mostly live in the local area. However, I am concerned that the Windsor Framework is stifling business within the UK market in this sector. I am in discussion with Ministers and urging them address this significant barrier to trade within the UK internal market.”

Director of Horticulture Andrew Tokely said: “The Directors of Kings Seeds were pleased to have the opportunity to spend time with Priti Patel MP discussing the problems they face with getting Seed into the UK, and more importantly the challenges that Kings Seeds still face , in sending Mail order Hobby seed packets into Northern Ireland . Despite the Windsor Framework deal Kings Seeds are still unable to supply the many home gardeners of Northern Ireland. The Directors wish to thank Priti Patel MP for her Visit and interest in this issue and any help and support she can offer the seed industry going forward.”

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