East Lothian Produce wins major award

LinkedIn +

Producers and processors of fresh Scottish vegetable, East Lothian Produce, has won the prestigious Grower of the Year award at the recent National Arable & Grassland Awards held in London recently. After winner the Vegetable Grower of the Year the company was put forward to blue ribbon Grower of the Year award at the event.

East Lothian Produce was founded by Billy Logan in 1976 when he started with a 16ha smallholding, focusing on brassica crops and potatoes and soon developed a specialist knowledge of these particular vegetables. Since then, he has been joined by his son Chris and other members of the family. The farm has now grown to 600ha operation which now includes a packaging and processing operation. The farm now grows cabbages, sprouts, parsnips, wheat, barley for its own processing and packaging business and other processing and packaging companies across the UK and Europe.

The combination of owned land and rented land gives the business a great deal of flexibility of what and where to plant every year. According to Chris Logan this is absolutely essential as good crop rotation is necessary for both the soil and the environment and to promote the absolute best quality in each crop, year on year.

“Our expert team select land with soil that will provide the best growing and harvesting conditons for each crop, because we understand how important quality is to our customers and we want to get it right from the very start. Before planting we analyse the soil to make sure it free from any pests and diseases that could harm the crop. We also find out what nutrients are in the soil so that we can tailor our fertilizers to make sure our vegetables have everything they need and nothing is wasted.

“We use a variety of disease and pest management practices, from firstly choosing the correct soil, investigating what it may or may not need and adapting to get the best from the land. Then onto choosing the correct crop for pest risk and resilience, so it may thrive and fight of pests and disease. Using nonchemical methods wherever possible. Regular consultations with our team of agronomists to ensure the crops are growing well and intervening when necessary if disease is anticipated.”

Sprouts main crop

Brussels sprouts are the farms main vegetable crop with over 210ha grown each year. These are planted between April and May and harvested from late August all the way through until early April with specialist harvesters before being graded chilled and packed. The sprouts are sold across Scotland and the UK and exported to Holland. The cool Scottish climate and late spring allows us to harvest them later than the rest of the UK.

The farm also grows around 40 hectares of parsnips each year for processing and packing company in Fife. We sow this crop at the end of March, and harvest between November and February. We cover part of our parsnip crop with straw to prevent the ground from freezing solid during periods of heavy frost – this means we can harvest this root crop on demand. Once harvested, we load the vegetables into lorries for transport to the site where they are washed, trimmed and polished ready for packing.

The savoy cabbage operation aims to harvest a packable amount of 20,000 savoy heads per acre growing 74ha a year. Our white and red cabbage varieties we harvest approx. 24,000 heads per acre growing 133ha per year.

Mr Logan added: “We recognise just how important it is to look after our environment. W&R Logan is LEAF Marque (Linking Environment and Farming) certified, and accredited to Red Tractor Assured Produce standards. This ensures the business is working to good farming practices that not only help us to take good care of the land and the environment but also help us actively protect the environment, too. The work we do in this industry does not always get noticed, so it’s brilliant for us to be recognised in this way. We are very proud to be recognised by the industry in this way.”

Share this story:

About Author