With a 20-year strategic vision to support its growth and development, AC Goatham & Son has reinvested £30m over the last seven years to ensure it can meet the future needs of customers, grower partners and staff.
This includes £10m invested in the state-of-the-art storage and packing facility and headquarters for business operations at Flanders Farm, Hoo on the Isle of Grain.
The company has also announced an £8m investment in increased cold storage and fruit processing facilities at the site, which will create an estimated 15 full time jobs, and in excess of 200 seasonal/part time jobs over the next two years. This facility will help to increase the length of time home-grown fruit can remain safely stored and extend the season on the supermarket shelves for Kent grown produce. This reduces the need to rely on foreign imports, provides consistent high quality fruit for customers at an affordable price and provides traceability and security within the supply chain.
The farm has invested in its environmental performance, and has been able to reduce the use of nitrogen in the orchards, cut water consumption, increase water recycling and reduce the carbon footprint of all areas of the business.
The company has estimated it currently contributes an annual GVA (Gross Value Added) of £12m to the Medway economy, which will rise to £28m over the next 20 years as the company grows.
AC Goatham & Son is also due to complete an ambitious planting scheme totalling 268,500 new fruit trees in Medway, and a further 280,000 across Kent, and as the quantity of fruit being grown is increased, further storage and processing will be required.