Our Growers

Meet some of the farmers that grow our delicious fresh cherries… Whether home grown or sourced from overseas, you can be sure that every effort is taken to hand pick the most scrumptious, best in season, cherries straight to your local supermarket shelves!

Sarah Neaves

Meet Sarah Neaves – who runs Little Sharsted Farm based in Kent.

Little Sharsted Farm is one of the South East’s largest fruit growers and ideal soil growing conditions.

Sarah says: “We pick our cherries in the traditional way, hand-picked into a wicker basket. They then go back to the farm, they’re chilled and hopefully on the supermarket shelves within 24 and 48 hours.”

Each and every cherry on Sarah’s farm is selected and picked by hand, to ensure only the biggest, juiciest and most delicious cherries go from farm to your punnet.

If that’s not an excuse to go out and indulge in some home-grown cherries – we don’t know what is!

Tom Hulme

Hello fellow cherry lovers, meet Tom Hulme one of our very fine cherry growers. Tom has been responsible for his family-run-farm’s fruit enterprise since 2011. He was previously an investment banker for 12 years and is the father of 2 young (possible) future farmers!

Based in East Kent, the AC Hulme & Sons Farm spans a healthy 4,000 acres, growing fruit as well as hops, potatoes and cereals, with Tom’s farm harvesting around 20 million delicious fresh cherries every year.

Below Tom gives us the low-down on his AC Hulme & Sons.

Tom, tell us about the cherries on your farm?

“We grow more than 20 different varieties of delicious, fresh British, cherries which is great because it gives us lots of cross pollination which I am certain is the secret to growing consistent crops of cherries and means that we harvest cherries for 8-10 weeks each year. Everyone loves the Kordia cherry most, but I personally like eating Van cherries!

We don’t like to boast but we really enjoy what we do here and are all very proud of what the farm has achieved in recent years. Anyone is welcome to visit the farm anytime.”

What’s your favourite way of eating cherries?
“My children like eating them directly from the tree, with the juice running down their chins, but the great thing about cherries is they are just so good any way you eat them.”

What can we expect from the 2020 cherry harvest?
“Everyone on the farm loves the cherry season and we are all hoping there will be plenty of lovely fruits to pick and sell, coming to a supermarket new you very soon, for you to enjoy in your local supermarket!”

Charles Atkin

Meet another of our amazing cherry growers, Charles Atkin. Charles and his parents own their farm which has been in the family for over 80 years, and was originally founded by his great grandfather. Charles himself has been a farmer for 30 years and grows 8 hectares of cherries.

Based between Canterbury and Whitstable, their land covers 170 Hectares, approximately half of which is arable land and half fruit growing.

Below Charles chats us through his families’ farm.

Charles, tell us about your farm?
“I have been supplying cherries to UK Retail since 1990 and supply cherries to all major retailers. The varieties of Cherries we grow here on the farm include Grace Star, Kordia, SummerSun, Penny, Regina, Karina, with Sweetheart being the largest variety grown.”

What is your favourite way to eat cherries?
“I only eat cherries two ways, either straight from the tree (to test for ripeness, obviously!) or once chilled straight from the fridge. Which way I go depends on how hot it is! But once chilled they have a firmer texture – so do give it a go.”

What can we expect from the 2020 cherry harvest?
“So far we have a good crop and fruit size will be better this year! I would expect decent volumes to be available from early July. So be sure to get to your local supermarket and tuck in”.