Welcome to Fairfields Farm

Our families have been farming in East Anglia for three generations. 

 

We harvest potatoes, maize and rye on beautiful farmland across the Colne Valley just north of Colchester in Essex. On our farm we cold store, wash, grade and bag twelve different potato varieties which are then supplied to wholesalers and retailers across the UK. We also grow our own special varieties of crisping potatoes which are hand cooked on the farm to the highest possible standards which is why we’re SALSA compliant and soon to be BRC accredited.

We deliver our crisps and potatoes to local customers using our own vehicles, but we also supply crisps to partners nationally and internationally. In fact we export to about 20 countries including Mauritius, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Russia, Dubai, Germany, Norway, North America and Canada.

We started making crisps in 2006 which then lead to the production of vegetable crisps in 2013 and most recently Lentil Lites in 2016. These are proving to be very popular given that they are not only very tasty, but also high in protein and low in fat.

In 2016 we were very proud to be voted East of England Co-operative’s best producer supplier and scooped more great taste awards than any other crisp maker in Great Britain. The 2-star award for our Parsnip with Essex honey and black pepper was particularly good news!

Excitingly from early 2017 all of our energy will be generated on the farm using sustainable technologies including anaerobic digestion and solar power.

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Thank you for visiting our website and we hope you continue to enjoy our delicious  potatoes and crisps.  Robert and Laura Strathern – founders

An interview with Robert & Laura Strathern
ROBERT-LAURA

So, Robert and Laura, what made you decide to start making crisps at the beginning?

Our families have been farming in East Anglia for three generations. It seemed natural to us to make a consumer product from one of our crops; potatoes. In 2006 we decided to start making hand cooked crisps. In the beginning, we out-sourced our crisp production and then in 2011 we brought production to the farm so we could better control quality. We also started making vegetable crisps in 2013.

What were your expectations to start with?

We knew it would not be easy that’s for sure – and we were proved right! We wanted to make the best crisps possible from our potatoes using locally sourced flavours. We now work with our good friends at Aspall Cyder, Wicks Farm Manor, Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses and Adnams Brewery to make great tasting crisps with specially developed natural flavours which have provenance without using artificial additives.

We heard from your staff that you are both incredibly hard working, what does a normal day consist of for you both?

Doest’t everyone in farming work hard? We’re used to it – getting up early and working long days sometimes seven days a week. Fortunately, we enjoy what we’re doing. We typically start at 6am and work 12 hours a day and longer during harvest. The weather plays such an important part of our lives that we have to take every opportunity to make sure the crops and equipment are being well looked after. This year this has been particularly difficult given the amount of rain we’ve had in short periods followed by dry spells. This makes growing potatoes quite a challenge – being British, naturally we never moan about the weather!

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