Protecting the environment with sustainable practice
We’re committed to sustainable growing and invest heavily in this area of the business. It’s important to us to continually challenge ourselves and improve products and processes. This allows us to continue to use and optimise resources in a responsible way to minimise our environmental impact.
We use many environmentally friendly growing methods, including the conserving of energy through our onsite electricity generation plant, water recirculation and an integrated approach to crop management that uses biological control.
We work hard to reduce landfill through recycling schemes and precision farming techniques. For example, our end of season pepper plants are chopped up and used by neighbouring farms to improve the condition of the soil.
Our state-of-the-art climate control system creates the best growing environment for plants to thrive. Read on to discover more about our approach to sustainably growing peppers.
Crop health & protection
An integral part of our growing philosophy is to protect our crops in the most natural way possible, always aiming to strike a natural balance within the glasshouse. We use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach, which helps us to achieve this. Crop monitoring and the use of natural predators (good bugs) is an effective environmentally friendly way to protect plants from pests (bad bugs). This effectively reduces the use of pesticides and contributes to healthy plant growth. It also encourages beneficial insects and natural predators to develop within the glasshouse. Our native bumble bees are known for enhancing fruit quality, another reason they are so vital to our ecosystem.
Our hydroponic growing system provides nutrient-rich water directly to our plants’ roots, using a dripper. The water is then recycled using a closed-loop irrigation system, which collects any excess water, partially sterilises it and then re-circulates the same water. This means there is no waste. Thanks to this system, we significantly reduce our daily water and fertiliser needs, while gaining a better understanding of our plants’ nutritional requirements.
Ever-conscious of our environment, we use a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system to produce electricity from natural gas. It provides 100% of our electricity needs! The bi-products of heat and carbon dioxide coupled with energy saving screens are used to promote energy efficient plant growth. Any surplus electricity is exported to the national grid and provides enough for 17,000 homes!
We actively manage the environment outside our glasshouses to enhance the sites’ unique biodiversity. The level of onsite biodiversity continually increases and we have land set aside for planting native tree and plant species to encourage wildlife.
If you look around a place like Tangmere everything is being done to make sure that it is as sustainable as possible. Whether you’re looking into things like pest control methods or how the plants are grown, it’s got something to teach all of us. Pippa Greenwood, Gardening Broadcaster
Product trials and R&D
Committed to continuous improvement
Research and development is extremely important to us. We continually invest in trialling new varieties and technologies for improved product quality so that we know everything about our beautiful plants.
Our years of research contribute to the ongoing advancement of British pepper production. We produce a great number of pepper trials in the UK, with every pepper we grow having first been trialled in our unique and dedicated research glasshouse facility that covers 6,100m². We carefully select varieties each season so that we’re always growing the best peppers for our customers.
Nurseries: UK and Spain
365 Year-round supply
Our state-of-the-art glasshouse facilities cover over 100 acres in the UK and Spain, supplying quality sweet bell peppers 52 weeks of the year. During the UK season changeover, we supply our peppers from our own heated, protected glasshouse in Extremadura, Spain. By having both a UK and Spanish operation, we can provide a secure, sustainable year-round supply of quality peppers.
- Tangmere Airfield Nurseries. Established in 1988.
- 75 acres of state-of-the-art glasshouse facilities.
- Situated on the West Sussex coastal plain, our location provides the perfect growing climate for light-loving pepper crops.
- Produce is packed on-site in our 10,000-m2 state-of-the-art Packhouse, minimising handling and reducing transport (fewer food miles).
- Finca De Pela, Extremadura in central Spain, established in 2001. An abundance of natural light and water allows a high quality crop to be produced between December and July, supplementing the UK production cycle.
- State-of-the-art 30 acre heated, protected glasshouse production. A unique asset.
- Replicates Tangmere UK, with a commitment to environmental sustainability, food safety standards and programme of R&D.
- We maintain freshness through a seamless operation and short supply chain with produce despatched directly to our modern UK packing facility.
Synergy between sites
Our sourcing calendar shows the year-round supply across our UK and Spanish nurseries.
Tangmere Airfield Nurseries
Finca De Pela
Quality standards and accreditations
Peppers are grown to the highest food safety and quality standards, including LEAF Marque and Red Tractor. These world-leading, robust standards promote traceable, safe food produced responsibly with high standards of environmental and social responsibility.
We are very proud to be a LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) Demonstration Farm in recognition of our commitment to promoting and delivering sustainable farming practices. We want to pass on our passion for peppers and raise awareness of the care we take to grow them sustainably using the very latest technology.