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A C Goatham & son

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A C Goatham to fly flag

A C Goatham & son

A C Goatham & son

Kent top fruit grower A C Goatham & Son is to fly the flag for the country after winning the Taste of the South East competition run by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

The company will attend the three-day Grown in Britain Market Insight Visit on 5-7 May, visit the Tutto Food Exhibition and Expo Milano UK, plus benefirt from networking events and the opportunity to meet overseas industry leaders. The visit to Milan also coincides World Expo in Milan.

A C Goatham commercial director Carol Ford said: "This will put our fantastic English apples and pears in front of potential customers from around the world.

"We are already using the latest cold storage technology in our business to help push the boundaries which restrict the number of months our produce can be available to the British public. It makes sense to look at markets on the other side of the world to see if we can fulfil any shortfall they have at the end of their growing season when our produce is in plentiful supply."

Confidence is high after the company announced it had completed the first phase of planting a conference pear orchard in Elmstone, near Canterbury, which it claims is the largest to be planted in more than 40 years.

The site will include 63,000 trees and will produce about 60 tonnes per hectare each year – roughly 20kg a tree. So far, 43,000 trees have been planted and the remaining 20,000 trees will be planted this coming winter.

The company has also gained planning permission for a £9m expansion of its cold storage and packhouse facilities at Flanders Farm, Hoo, creating 15 full-time and 40 full-time seasonal jobs.

A C Goatham & Son partner Ross Goatham explained: "It will use the latest technology which will allow us to store our own Kent-grown apples and pears for longer and help to extend the season for British Fruit in supermarkets across the UK."

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