A fifth-generation, family-owned potato farm in Cornwall has invested in new equipment that will see productivity more than double, after securing a £400k funding package from Lloyds Bank.
Situated in Lanlivery, Colwith Farm is a leading grower and supplier of premium quality Cornish potatoes, distributing to wholesale food suppliers and brands including McCain and Burts Crisps.
The six-figure loan from Lloyds Bank has enabled the business to install the latest robotic picking equipment to speed up efficiencies when bagging potatoes – increasing productivity on the grading line by 25%.
As a result of the drive by both consumers and retailers to source food from British farms, the business has seen an increase in demand for its produce throughout the west Country and across the UK. The new equipment will allow the farm to meet the new demand while continuing to maintain the high-quality of its produce all year round.
The 200-acre farm is also home to Colwith Farm Distillery, a plough to bottle distillery which uses the farm’s potatoes to make its own single estate vodka and gin, and is sold to retail outlets, pubs and restaurants throughout the west Country.
Clare Dustow, who manages the farm with her husband Chris as part of the generational family partnership, believes the new technology has come at a pivotal time to allow the business to continue to grow.
“Investing in the efficiency of our processes is absolutely key to our growth,” she said. “Over recent years we’ve seen a surge in demand for our premium potatoes and investing in new robotic technology allows us to speed up the picking process and fulfil more orders for our customers.”