THE GREENEST RED TOMATOES YOU CAN FIND
We have been working with fellow family business Guy and Wright since they began in 1928. Based in Hertfordshire, they grow tomatoes for nine months of the year. Not just any tomatoes, but eco- tomatoes! They are grown from using heat, generated from bio fuels. The Anaerobic Digester scheme at Guy and Wright is unique in that it is the only commercial unit in the world where the biogas combined heat and power exhaust is cleaned to provide CO2 for tomato growing in Greenhouse. So not only does it provide renewable heat and power but also renewable CO2. The Co2 is then trapped in the greenhouses to enhance the quality of the tomatoes even further! Guy and Wright recently won the Energy Now Expo 2016 ‘Best Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Scheme’.
Q: What is your end goal?
A: We unfortunately cannot expand on the bio gas side of things as they are at capacity; however there is possibility of expanding on the growing side as there is enough land to do so. Instead, we are looking to diversify, moving more into biomass, with our motto ‘diversify or die’. Looking into the future, we are looking towards constructing a semi-closed greenhouse, using the boilers to blow in chilled air meaning greater temperature control during periods of hot weather.
Q: Like us, you’re a family run business. Do you have any more generations lined up to take over?
A: Our son, Robert, is heavily involved in the bio mass side of the business. Our daughter Kate is also involved, in control of admin with my wife Caroline. Robert has children, however they are too young to think about taking over just yet. We also have staff living on site of EU backgrounds.
Q: Tomatoes are your speciality, but have you got any ideas to expand and start growing more eco fruit and veg?
A: At the moment we are not looking to expand with any more fruit or vegetables, however if there is a market for a product then I am happy to explore this!
Q: You grow various tomatoes, which is your favourite and why?
- Santasian- mini plum
- Encore- classic round fruit
- Piccollo – zesty cocktail cherry
A: Piccollo is the most sweet and red in colour of the different varieties of tomatoes and sells well. As well as selling to wholesalers, we also have a stall outside of our house selling grade 2 tomatoes and other varieties to passing trade.
Q: Appropriate technology involves using technology equivalent to a country’s development. Why do you believe that growing tomatoes using bio fuel is the way forward in the fresh produce industry here in the UK?
A: I believe that producing a healthier product in a better working environment, making it cleaner and safer for the consumer, is the way forward. It is also environmentally friendly, as no pesticides are used, meaning it is a sustainable way of growing tomatoes!