Today Friday 1st December HRH The Princess Royal formally opened the Arthur Goatham Building...........
Press release: 1 December 2017
HRH The Princess Royal opens the Arthur Goatham Building
HRH The Princess Royal has today Friday 1 December 2017 officially opened the Arthur Goatham building, the new £10m packhouse and coldstore of AC Goatham & Son at Flanders Farm, Hoo.
The Princess was met by the senior management team of AC Goatham & Son, led by Senior Partner Clive Goatham, who gave her a tour around the new state of the art apple and pear facility. Her Royal Highness met members of staff, local dignitaries and unveiled a plaque.
The Arthur Goatham building is named after Clive's father, who set up the business with his wife Phyllis in 1947. They began as agricultural contractors and together with Clive, purchased their first farm, Street Farm in Hoo in the 1980's.
Since then they have expanded their fruit growing business across 27 farms in Medway and Kent, growing some 200 million apples and 50 million pears each year which are sold in supermarkets across the UK.
Clive Goatham comments: "I am incredibly proud and honoured for HRH The Princess Royal to have visited Flanders Farm, to have given her a tour of the building and for her to have officially opened it in memory of my late father. My parents would have both been very proud to have been here today and to have seen how the business has grown. It was fantastic for our team to be able to meet Her Royal Highness and for this to have taken place in our 70th anniversary year."
Ross Goatham, Managing Director and the third generation in the family business comments: "Our 70th anniversary year has been a fantastic year. The future of fruit growing has changed significantly over the last 70 years and we are now competing with growers from across the world, so it is important that we invest in the latest technology throughout our business."
"We are continuously working together with our 20 partner growers and customers towards providing a secure and sustainable British fruit supply for the future. This will be done by securing more orchard sites and over time replanting apples and pears on new and more efficient growing systems. By 2020 we will have planted in excess of two million new fruit trees."
On a more basic level; When my friends asked me what I did with all the apples & pears bought and tasted, and reviewed in recent Journals - the answer is juice.....once I had given some spare fruit to family and friends........
As a great fan of English Apple & Pear juice, The English Apple Man regularly samples juice made from many varieties and by many growers with a juice and bottling capability.
We also juice any spare apples bought from Supermarkets with our 'home juicer' - it should be said that, readers should not use 'windfalls' from the garden or any fruit which may be contaminated by soil or any other bacteria as this juicing method means the juice is not pasteurized...............
Below: Apples and Juicer ready for action and right; the 'entry point'
Below: First task - remove the stalks then right; feed the whole apples into the entry spout
Below: Left; 'action' - press down forcing apples below plunger into mill; and right; juicing in progress
Below: left; the juice is force out into the waiting jug; and right; the 'pomace' passes in the opposite direction and to be captured in a bag
Below: left; pouring the fresh apple juice into a glass jug; and right; pouring into a glass.....
Below: left; the pomace in the juicer and right; in the collecting bag.....
The English Apple Man downing a glass of 'home pressed juice' - deeliiiicioussss!!!
The 50th Anniversary Under 40's Ball - Held in Whites Suite at The Hop Farm, Beltring
Whites is a very tastefully converted Oast barn, flooded with natural daylight which overlooks the front lawn with its own bar, reception area, integral dance floor and toilet facilities. The room also has the advantage of disabled access.
Below: The English Apple Man and his wife arrive at Whites Suite for The U40;'s 50th Anniversary Ball
Last Saturday evening The English Apple Man and his wife attended the Under 40's 50th Anniversary Dinner at The Hope Farm at Beltring near Paddock Wood in Kent. This event had a dual objective; one to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of 'a gem of an idea' dreamt up by Professor Hudson at Long Ashton Research Station in 1967 and as a Fund Raising venture for the next U40's Conference in 2019.
As regular readers of The English Apple Man will know, I have been traveling with and supporting The U40's with encouragement and publicity for the last four U40 Confrerence held in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. While the first three U40 Conferences visited regions in France, Poland and Benelux, the 2017 Committee set their sights on a first visit to The Southern Hemisphere..........brave and of course much more expensive than a European destination.
One must recognise, none of the U40 Conferences would have taken place (at an affordable rate for Delegates) without the extensive support of The Sponsors who have provided generous support over the 50 year lifetime of The Under 40 Conferences.
Below: The 2017 Under 40's Conference Delegates at Boschendal in South Africa
Having experienced the 2017 Conference in South Africa where the Committee 'set the bar high for the next committee, the 2019 committee were determined to explore the possibilty of another Southern Hemisphere location. To fund this venture - 'maybe adventure' is more accurate, the recognition that sponsorship would need to be supplemented by further fund raising............
Below: The 2019 Under 40's Committee; left to right: Tom Christensen; Emily Livesey (Chair), Jim Burston, Marzena Lipska, Matt Greep & Hamish Light
Below: 2019 Chair Emily Livesey welcomes 'close to' 120 Diners, introduces the format for the Anniversary Ball and reveals the destination for the 2019 U40's Conference....
Drum roll....Diners are asked by Emily to look under their chairs and seek the destination...I have it cries Selchuk Kurtev..... It's Chile!
Chile is the longest country in the world from north to south at 2,647 miles (4,620 km) long and extends across 38 degrees of latitude. The Andes Mountain Range extends the entire length of the country north to south - Chile's Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world. Parts of the Atacama have not seen a drop of rain since recordkeeping began - Within South America, Chile is responsible for 60% of all fruit exports. The natural barrier of the Andes also makes Chile one of the few countries protected from air borne pests
Below: Eloquent Auctioneer Will Matthias from local Land Agents Lambert & Foster entertained Diners while coaxing & cajoling bidders into generously spending in aid of U40 funds
Below: The Auction in progress as Diners get caught up in the excitement of the bidding process....
Below: Anniversary Ball Diners enjoying a great time; lots of laughter, no doubt engendered by the wine and the competitive nature of the auction......
Below: A message of thanks from Emily Livesey U40's 2019 Conference Chair..
"On behalf of myself and the committee a big THANK YOU for supporting the Under 40's Fruit Growers 50th Anniversary Ball on Saturday".
"Nearly 120 people attended to make the evening a success. Thank you to our sponsors and growers for coming out and enjoying a festive evening together".
"Thank you to all those who bid generously in the prize auction. We hope your treats are enjoyed by their recipients whether you bid for yourself or a friend! The committee are already looking forward to their day's hard labour with Charles and Steph at Frank P Matthews!
We would also like to thank those who donated prizes for us - Agrovista, FP Matthews, Colcombe House, Three Choirs Vineyard, Biddenden Vineyards, NIAB EMR and Lower Hope. Thanks again goes to ICL for sponsoring the (Chilean!) wine you enjoyed on your tables"
The evening ends with the 'energetic U40's Diners on the dance floor'.........much fun had by all!
Click on South East Farmer Facebook for a view of pictures taken on the night....in the spirit of the U40's Fund Raising Event, Emily and her Committee welcome donations for any pictures downloaded........
For more information on the Hop Farm; Click on THE HOP FARM
On Wednesday, The English Apple Man and his wife spent a couple of hours in the delightful Kent town of Tenterden; always an enjoyable experience - Tenterden was once described (admittedly some years ago) "as a little bit of Bond Street, down in the Country" - our mission, to seek some Victorian silver object as Christmas presents. There are a number of small shops displaying antique memorabilia, and while moving from one to another seeking our presents, we noticed this small Cafe/Deli next door to one of the shops.
The proprietors; Eric and Isabelle Crepin-Leblond took over the Cafe a year ago and are establishing a little piece of French culture in this very Kent Town..........we enjoyed Coffee and Cheese Croissants (delicious) and learnt some of the motivation for this lovely young couple settling in Tenterden........
Click on The French Gourmet for an insight into the ambiance of this very French Deli in the Town of Tenterden............
And to finish a busy week, today was my Grandson Jack's 14th Birthday; we spent a most enjoyable evening over supper with Jack, his sister Joanne and our son and daughter in law....'can't believe he is 14, how the time flies..
Well; what a mixture of news..........life is never dull....................
The English Apple Man