Riverford

riverford

Graham & Chris Negus - Breckland Organic

Graham and Chris Negus

Breckland Organics is run by father and son team, Graham and Chris Negus who have been growing organic vegetables on Church Farm for three years.

After 30 years of dealing with supermarkets, Graham Negus finds the Riverford ethos a breath of fresh air.

“For 30 years I dealt with people like Sainsbury’s and Asda so working with Riverford is refreshing. They are a family run company and that ethos runs through their other farms too,” he says.

Graham and Chris work the sandy soils of Eastern England and grow carrots, kale, pointed cabbage, green beans, sweetcorn and leeks for Riverford’s vegboxes.

“In the first instance it was primarily a commercial decision – it’s a business after all. But even after three years we can see the benefits for the farm in terms of the wildlife, etc. We had been part of the government environmental schemes for 10 years and that had made a big difference.

“But now the amount of beneficial insects has grown and there are lots of different birds – skylarks and barn owls – we live in a very privileged part of the countryside.”

Graham and Chris are convinced that supermarkets specifications are unnecessary when it comes to the size and shape of vegetables and believes Riverford is much more realistic.

“As long as the product is good quality it doesn’t matter whether we have got a medium sized carrot and a small carrot in the same bag – I really don’t think customers mind that.”

The box scheme gives them some degree of certainty over what he will be growing and when they will harvest it. “As long as they get their forecast right it should work OK – and we’ve been happy so far!”