How investment and diversification has led to expansion and continued success in business in Wales.
A family farm…
Hook Farm in Pembrokeshire has taken advantage of every opportunity to diversify, expand and grow throughout the past few years, looking to secure the agricultural business as a leader within the Welsh vegetable market. Using Welsh fresh produce company Puffin Produce as a platform for growth, Martin Griffiths has experimented, developed and created a successful vegetable growing business, supplying quality Welsh vegetables to loyal Welsh consumers.
Originally a dairy farm, Martin joined his father and brother on the family farm and began growing vegetables alongside the dairy business before taking over the farm on as his own. Today, Hook Farm is a dedicated vegetable growing business, growing a range of brassicas for the Welsh market including cauliflower and savoy cabbage.
Over the years, Hook Farm has diversified into a year-round vegetable growing business, expanding the range of vegetables grown to enable crop rotation and efficiencies on farm, as well as maximising profitability. Martin explains:
“When we first started we grew a lot of winter cauliflower, but it is a risky crop with frost and volatile pricing. Working with Puffin has ensured a steady price which is more consistent, which has helped that dramatically. To strengthen our base, we’ve expanded our savoy cabbage acreage, and with the help of Puffin we’ve managed to get into four multiples in Wales. We’re now supplying them 12 months of the year and it’s the backbone of our business”.
The diversification doesn’t stop there, with Martin and his team continuing to trial new crops alongside Puffin Produce, such as broccoli, pointed cabbage and red cabbage.
As well as exploring new products, potatoes have also made their way into the crop rotation at Hook Farm, with first early potatoes being grown in May to help with the cash flow of the business and to maintain staff levels. Once harvested, the land can be re-planted with brassicas, therefore introducing an increased efficiency for the business.
It all helps with rotation in the mix and spreading the workload, having lots of irons in the fire is better than having one mainstay”
As well as the vegetable growing business, Martin also raises his own plants to guarantee the quality of the seed plants used for his vegetable crops.
“We’re quite unique really, we’re probably the only Welsh grower to grow their own plants. Plant raising is a separate business really, it’s quite specialised. You’re building you’re own stock, you’re looking after your own stock, you know when to build the plants on and you can see everything in front of you”.
With the support and expertise of Puffin Produce and Tyfu Cymru, Martin is able to continue to follow his passion for vegetable growing, supplying the loyal Welsh public with great quality Welsh fresh produce on a year-round basis. Through diversifying the business, Martin can ensure the success of Hook Farm, his family farm, for future generations. Support provided through TyfuCymru:
- Production methods training on specific potato growing issues
- Efficiency improvement (including carbon foot-printing and benchmarking)
- Soil health workshop