Greens MD, Will Shakeshaft reflected on 2022 and had this to say “2022 has been an interesting year for us all, we witnessed the driest season since 1977 and also the highest inflation for several decades. Although we had to navigate both of these events it is pleasing that we have managed to reach the end of the year without massive issues. As I have said many times, one of the main reasons Greens is successful is down to all the staff and the hard work and efforts you have all put in. Thank you. I hope 2023 is a kinder year for all of us, we have some exciting opportunities ahead of us which we are well placed to jump on”.
The Greens of Soham senior board has recently undergone a review of the UK business in light of significant economic pressures. This will mean scaling back of the UK business and changes for the coming months.
Read the full press release here.
After many months of hard work, a transaction is taking place meaning that Spearhead International will no longer be owned by Paine Schwartz (PSP). Spearhead will instead be under the ownership of Accession Capital Partners (ACP).
Will Shakeshaft, Managing Director of Greens of Soham, the UK Spearhead business, said “the 6 years of ownership by PSP has seen some fantastic growth and I am looking forward to the next venture with ACP and to see what opportunities this brings us”.
Read the full press release here.
New Greens of Soham Tech Department
Greens have been working hard for some time now to put together a new Central Technical function that will seek to take advantage of productivity gains and centralised resource for the technical support and quality management of all Greens Of Soham crops. In addition, in a world where seed quality is particularly challenged by the likes of Potato Virus Y, we will be focusing on renewed best practice seed potato crop management and supporting our growing operations with the technical knowledge and resource required to improve seed health. We will also be focusing on our growers and customers’ requirements, particularly on sustainability and further aligning our own Regenerative Agriculture practices with their immediate and long term sustainability goals.
We are also really excited that Lauren Mann, who has been with us since March 2014, will lead the new Tech department as she takes on the role of Senior Technical Manager. Lauren has an excellent amount of experience and knows the crops and the customers needs so we are really looking forward to this area of the business expanding and flourishing under Lauren’s guidance.
Exciting Team Changes
We are pleased to announce that Darren Mackie and Craig Uttridge will both become directors of Spearhead Marketing and Greenseed International. This is a natural progression for them both as they have been instrumental in building Spearhead Marketing to the successful business it is today. They have both also been supporting the strategic direction of Greenseed and we are excited that they will be focusing on the seed and salad commerce as well as supporting Phil Kingsmill in the running of the whole Greenseed business.
Another exciting change is that Greg Colebrook has become a Director of Greens Of Soham, joining William Shakeshaft, Phil Kingsmill and James Planton. Greg will be supporting the design and structure of the Greens Of Soham farming businesses and has already played a pivotal part in the roll out of the Regenerative farming strategy and this includes developing the new potato systems and technology.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on the 23rd March that the country is to enter a period of enforced isolation and stringent social distancing measures, we would like to confirm what we have been doing over the last few weeks to ensure the wellbeing of our employees, our customers, our growers and suppliers. Please read the full Company Statement on COVID-19 here.
Greens employee captains Team UK at the AGROlympics in Poland
Carl Tuck, who works at Greens Farming, will lead his country at the international farming skills challenge – which is known as the ‘farming Olympics’. The 17-year-old will be joined by three other apprentices from Easton and Otley College and together they will make up Team UK. The squad will take part in 20 challenges ranging from milking a cow to tractor driving against teams from around 30 other nations.
Read the full article here (https://www.elystandard.co.uk/news/carl-tuck-team-uk-agrolympics-1-6067185)
Announcement – William Shakeshaft takes over as Managing Director
Following the departure of John Addams-Williams, Greens of Soham Ltd (Greens) has appointed William Shakeshaft as Managing Director.
Will has been with the Company for over 17 years, since joining as Crisping Potato Manager in 2001. Since then Will has established and directed various Greens of Soham businesses including turf, red beet and other specialist vegetable cropping. Will has been Director of Spearhead Marketing since 2014 and is now looking forward to his next exciting challenge as Managing Director. Will also sits on the board of the AHDB Potatoes.
Will takes over from John, who has left the Company after 21 years to relocate back to his family farm in Wales and the Company wish him the very best of luck for the future and thank him for his many years of hard work and dedication.
This appointment is with effect from 1st April 2019 and Will is continued to be supported by the existing team and together they will continue to drive forward the Greens of Soham brand of businesses.
Download a PDF version of this article here.
Country Trust Visit
On Friday 29th March, Greens of Soham hosted their first visit from the Country Trust and St. Christopher’s CEVCP School.
The school children were welcomed to a farm owned by Palmers in Stretham where Greens Farming were drilling beet root and preparing for the 2019 season.
The children enjoyed talking about what was going on and what the tractors were doing but were also keen in finding out about the soil type, the geographic area and the variables that make farming interesting.
After getting their hands dirty (whilst wearing gloves!), they were taken to the Red Beet grader in Hasse where they were able to go on a tour around the grader. The children found the grader to be noisy and a different environment but quickly acclimatised.
After lunch, the children enjoyed some activities in the new workshop organised by Greg Colebrook, Greens Farming Director, and they were able to enjoy some miniature field planting, sugar analysis, beet root tasting and tractor climbing. Greg said of the visit “it is always great to take the opportunity to educate children about food and farming. It is wonderful to hear the variety of questions you are asked by the children.”
After the visit, Sally Hetherington-Aherne said that “visits, such as those to Greens, are absolutely at the core of our programmes and without the support and generosity of farmer hosts and agricultural business, such as yourselves, they simply couldn’t happen”.
Greens of Soham looks forward to working with the Country Trust to host future visits enriching the education of the children involved.
The Country Trust
The Country Trust is a national education charity who aim to bring alive the countryside for children least able to access it. Since 1978 The Country Trust has been making it possible for hundreds of farmers and landowners to welcome thousands of disadvantaged young children from all backgrounds and faiths onto their farms to share their passion for food, farming and the countryside.
The visits give children experiences that they would not get were it not for your generosity. The children learn how and where the food they eat is produced, and how the countryside works, as well as giving them experiences that broaden their horizons, and result in increased self-confidence and memories that will stay with them for a long time.
Visit the Country Trust website here
Beetroot Harvest 2018 – Video
Waitrose – In praise of Beetroot
Greens of Soham visit East Anglia Air Ambulance
In March 2016, Barry a Greens of Soham employee had a heart attack while driving a telehandler in a remote area of Norfolk. Luckily, his first-aid trained colleague John was nearby and managed to get to him quickly, pull him out of the cab and started doing CPR which kept Barry miraculously alive until the first ambulance arrived. The East Anglia Air Ambulance was called on the scene as well and they transported Barry to Norwich hospital.
Barry has now fully recovered from his accident and is now back at work since October.
On Wednesday 7th February, a small group of Greens of Soham employees, including Barry and John had the chance to go to Cambridge airport and visit the East Anglia Air Ambulance facilities. They were able to meet the doctor who came out the day of Barry’s accident and the group was even lucky enough to see the Air Ambulance take of as it was called out on a mission during the visit.
The whole group showed a great interest about how the East Anglia Ambulance charity operates and understanding how vital it is to save lives, especially in remote areas where Greens of Soham operates.
Greens of Soham is now putting together a team for the Only The Brave race which takes place in Elveden near Thetford and raises money for the Air Ambulance.
Co-founder of Greens wins Wetland Creation award
Greens sets the standard with Onions
Source: The Vegetable Farmer October 2017
New Beetroot harvest trailer helps clean product and reduce haulage
New grader boosts crop handling
Source: Potato Review March/April 2017