Back in 1989, Anthony and Christine Snell purchased around 100 acres of bare land with an inspired vision (and a hefty overdraft to foster it!). Initially growing vegetables and salad crops, the focus changed in 1998 to specialise in berry fruit production.
Pencoyd Court Farm now covers 450 acres of Herefordshire countryside and produces an impressive 1500 tonnes of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and blackcurrants, both organically and conventionally.
Our focus here at A J & C I Snell has always been on the production of better-flavoured varieties for supermarket premium lines. The quality and richness of the local soils and, together with the dedication of our workforce (that can rise to 250 fruit pickers during harvest), this forms a delicious recipe for nurturing juicy fruits for the fresh and frozen markets.
We've also enjoyed a successful working relationship with our co-operative Berry Gardens, who have helped facilitate terrific growth in A.J & C.I Snell.
A large proportion of our Blackcurrants are grown for GSK, producers of Ribena, on contract. In addition we have an onsite strigging and sorting line producing quality IQF (individually quick frozen) blackcurrants for various outlets including premium punneted frozen mixed berry packs for Marks & Spencer (M&S). In addition we have launched a range of own branded ‘Windmill Hill Fruits’ quality frozen fruit packs aimed specifically at farm shops and indepdendents and a British Blackcurrant online shop selling and delivering our IQF Blackcurrants direct to customers doors.
The expansion and emphasis on our organic production is set to grow, increasing to 120 acres of blackcurrants alone. The great investment and development of the Organic Blackcurrant side of the business was recognised with the accolade of Organic Grower of the Year 2011.