The Managing Director of the Loddington Farm business, which has two sites in Kent, says:
“There’s a significant part of the population that is increasingly conscious of their food, and consumer choices. Whatever the sector, businesses have a real opportunity to be on the front foot and demonstrate that they’re effecting positive change.”
For James, whose business predominantly grows fruit and covers 225 acres, that opportunity – to grow as a business as well as effect change – lies in his business’s market offering: “What I’m trying to move away from is just being an apple grower that produces an apple. We want to produce an apple that is good for the environment, good for the consumer and good for us as a business.”
To that end, the business, which started in 1929 and has been part of the same family for nearly a century, is looking to integrate its offering with what ultimately works for the planet.
“I’ve seen that I can’t make the status quo work in terms of trying to only supply UK retailers in the way that I have,” he confesses. “I’m interested now in pivoting away and going more local. We have planning permission for a new farm shop. With our juice business we’ve been doing a lot of marketing, and we can produce less volume and sell for more by adding value. I don’t believe I need to feed the world, I think I need to run a sustainable business that earns me a living.”