Fruit and Veg

Day 14: British Food Fortnight – Q&A with Hannah Turner, Classic Fresh Foods.

Written by NCGM
October 02, 2020

Learn about the Kent salad grower with a motivational biodiversity programme.

To celebrate British Food Fortnight, we spoke to Hannah Turner, Marketing Manager at Classic Fresh Foods.

Ncgm Tom Moggach 110 Copy

(Image: Hannah Turner celebrating British food).

Classic Fresh Foods supply fresh produce and fine foods to demanding and discerning chefs in London’s top hotels, restaurants and gastropubs.

They now offer home deliveries, of the same top quality produce, to doorsteps in London & Chelmsford.

Place orders here.

Second Image

(Image: Classic Fresh Foods - home delivery box).

Why should the foodservice industry and the public buy British?

“Buying British is great for the environment as it limits the impact of food miles and the subsequent carbon footprint.

We have such an abundant range of seasonal produce in Britain, let's all take advantage of that and support our farming communities at the same time!”

What types of British produce is popular over harvest time? What's incredible right now?

“The British apple season is starting. We have a lovely selection including Royal Gala, Cox, Russets and Bramley apples.

Also, late season Wye Valley blueberries, British strawberries and Kent plums varieties; beautiful for baking or making compotes with.”

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(Image: Late season British strawberries).

“We are also the sister company to wholesaler and farmer S.Thorogood and Sons.

They have fresh vegetables and salads grown by farmers and sold by farmers; we literally have fresh produce delivered that was in the fields only a few hours ago."

Thorogood Old Image

(Image: Historic picture of S. Thorogood and Sons farmers, selling their produce).

What types of British produce do you use in your home delivery boxes?

“Currently, we are using a selection of brassicas, roots, squashes, berries, plums, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes; British eggs, Rodda's Cornish butter, Snowdonia Cheese, charcuterie, cream and milk.

Our customers can’t believe the difference in taste compared to supermarkets at a similar price point. We have very happy, loyal customers.”

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(Image: Classic Fresh Foods - fine food selection).

Have you seen an increase in the sales of British produce?

“We have definitely seen an increase in chefs using seasonal British produce on their menus. They are much more sustainably aware and passionate about where food comes from and supporting British farmers.

We send weekly seasonal updates, so chefs can plan their menus; anyone can sign up to our updates.

In regard to British produce, can you give an example of how your company is sustainable?

“Our British farmers cultivate the land to the highest standards.

Four generations of knowledge goes into managing our farms, the wholesale business and now Classic Fresh Foods.

We have very low waste due to our well-established supply chain.”

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(Image: Laurence J Betts farm, Red Oak Leaf lettuce).

Can you give us information about a British fruit and vegetable farmer?

“Laurence J Betts, British salad growers since 1930. They are a family business near West Malling, Kent.

Stephen And Anne Betts

(Image: Stephen and Anne Betts).

Laurence J Betts Ltd is committed to maintaining the environment and farming in a sustainable manner.

A biodiversity plan has been put into process at the farm, which assesses the current biodiversity against goals and also lays out future sustainability programmes.

Little Gem Field 1024X561

(Image: Laurence J Betts farm, Little Gem lettuces).

They maintain woodland areas, landscapes and nature conservations.

The farm has an on-going policy of maintaining and sowing wildflower meadows to encourage wildlife, such as bees.

Rare species of flowers have been spotted on site, including the Bee Orchid and the Grass Vetchling! How wonderful would it be to spot one!

Stewart Betts

(Image: the late Stewart Betts, environmental pioneer).

They are committed to water management and have created their own reservoir systems.

On-going investment into energy efficiency is taking place. To reduce energy usage, they have invested in solar energy and new technologies in cold storage and farming machinery.

They are cutting edge without even knowing it.

Family Farm

(Image: Laurence J Betts farm, a family farm).

There has also been on-going projects around the farm to encourage bird presence. This includes nesting boxes for owls and designated strips for skylark nests.

Through surveys conducted by the RSPB there have been some fantastic results seen around the farm, including an increasing number of birds of prey.

The also have a highly skilled team on the farm. The care and pride they take shows in the quality and beauty of their lettuce and salads.

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(Image: Laurence J Betts highly skilled team).

Can you imagine if every business in Britain put the same effort into environmental standards? They have left a lasting impression on me and I will absolutely do my part!”

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(Image: Laurence J Betts, Lollo Rosso).

Author: Meg Morrison

Photography: Seek permission from Hannah Turner and Laurence J Betts farm.

If you have any questions, email or call 02077202211 and ask for Meg or Cassie. We are here to help.


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