Anthony produces and packs fresh and frozen soft fruit in partnership with his wife Christine in South Herefordshire. Their conventional and organic blackcurrant business involves primarily supplying processing fruit for Ribena, but also producing ‘strigged’ IQF frozen fruit for yoghurt and ice-cream makers, and mixed fruit packs for Marks and Spencer. Anthony is Chairman of the N.F.U. West Midland Horticulture Board, as well as being a member of the National Horticulture Board. He is also a board member of soft fruit cooperative K.G. Growers. In 2008 the business was voted ‘UK Soft Fruit Grower of The year’.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
A grown up! And a farmer.
If you could change one thing in modern blackcurrant farming what would it be?
I would love to help to educate people more to recognize this superfruit ,and use blackcurrants in more than just drinks!
What is your motto in life?
The old one! ‘Work hard and play hard’.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love going with my family to the Isle Of Jura in the Hebrides, one road,poor mobile phone coverage,sailing,fishing,and walking among the ‘Paps’.
What would you request as your final meal?
Roast Free Range chicken with all the trimmings, followed by [for me] recently rediscovered blackcurrant pie and cream
What is the first thing you do when you go to work in the morning?
I’d like to say something like’walking in the fields watching the sun rise’,but like most people today,I’m afraid it is’switching on the computer and checking e-mails.
Do you get your 5 a day?
I have to honest,and say not always! But as a fruit grower,I get pretty close in the summer with all the sampling!
What’s the best bit about being a blackcurrant grower?
Knowing we are producing an exceptionally healthy fruit crop,which is carefully grown in an environmentally friendly way. Also it’s great to walk through the fields at late flowering,seeing and hearing the bees,and smelling the unique aroma of blackcurrants, and trying to guess if we will get a good crop, or not!