Ginsters' pasties 'Cornish through and through' thanks to Objective One

A Cornish farmer is helping to ensure Ginsters’ pasties are truly ‘Cornish through and through’ after winning a contract to supply the savoury foods giant with 4,300 tonnes of fresh local vegetables thanks to a grant from Objective One.

Hay Farm Produce at Torpoint secured a £61,400 grant from Objective One-funded Cornish Horticultural Enterprises (CHE) towards a £176,000 project to build a washing, grading, preparation and cold storage facility for potatoes, onions and swedes.

The investment has allowed Hay Farm to meet Ginsters’ large demand for Cornish crops used within its range of savoury products and pasties, which bear the motto ‘Cornish through and through’.

Hay Farm has forged links with four other local growers to provide all the potatoes, onions and swedes required by Ginsters, which is based in Callington. The farm now supplies 100% of the potatoes required by Ginsters and will soon provide all the onions and swede during the U.K. growing season.

The project has already created 14 new jobs and safeguarded nine others. A further nine full-time posts are likely to be created next year.
Hay Farm, formerly a mixed dairy and arable farm, moved out of milk production in December 1999 and last year began converting a series of farm buildings to enable it to add value to vegetables for the food manufacturing industry.

The Objective One grant, secured through CHE, enabled it to complete the project and secure the Ginsters contract.

Farms director Nick Sheppard said:"To produce the volume and quality of vegetables required to meet Ginsters’ needs meant making a substantial investment at the farm, and the Objective One grant, through CHE, enabled us to do that. We’re delighted to have secured this contract with such a prestigious player in the savoury foods market."

Ginsters has for some time been sourcing local produce for use in its Cornish branded products. Commenting on the news, Managing Director, Mark Duddridge said: "Ginsters is committed to supporting local enterprises and initiatives where we can not only give support by purchasing local ingredients for use in our products, but we have also provided business advice and guidance as appropriate. We currently source over 120 tonnes per week of produce from local suppliers and our objective over the next two to three years is to significantly increase our expenditure on local products."

CHE is a £6.6 million scheme to support the Cornish horticulture sector, and was launched earlier this year. Over the next three years around 800 local companies are expected to benefit from the grants and advice available through the project, which is being supported with £1.5 million of Objective One funding, matched by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

As well as providing assistance and support with Hay Farm's funding application, the specialist areas of expertise at CHE helped Mr Sheppard put together a business plan. CHE director Roger Whilding said: "We’re delighted that the funding we have been able to provide has helped Nick secure what is a major contract for local growers, while creating several new jobs in the rural economy. Cornwall is renowned for the quality of its fresh local produce, and this is just one example of where value is being added in the county, and not outside it."

CHE Ltd is looking forward to being able to offer an improved information and advice service for other agricultural and horticultural business that could benefit from funding with the launch of a new web site in September, details of which will be announced later.

For more information please contact:

Jason Clark
Objective One Communication Manager
01872 276276
07980 834368

Nick Sheppard
Hay Farm
01752 812480
07850 057750

Roger Whilding or Gillian Clark
Cornish Horticultural Enterprises
01626 890405


Editors notes:

Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel:01872 241379
Fax:01872 241388