lettuce  farm growing salad fresh

Fresca Group has announced that Thanet Earth will be moving into the production of leafy salads.

The company acquired Leythorne Nurseries, formerly operated by leafy salad grower Madestein UK, through specialist advisory firm FRP for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition of the 8.25-acre site, south of Chichester, comprises 27,000 sq m of glasshouses.

The move was described as an “opportunity to move into a new category to complement its current catalogue which comprises speciality tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers”.

The new venture will trade as Thanet Earth Lettuce and will produce lettuce under glass for 12 months of the year in a deep flow, hydroponic system.

Thanet Earth Lettuce Logo

Source: Thanet Earth

The company said it would complement its recent investment in its smart farm at DGM Growers, where it is growing leafy vegetables in a vertical system in a greenhouse.

“It further emphasises Fresca’s commitment to exploring high-tech growing systems which are less capital and energy-intensive than the current wave of fully enclosed vertical farms,” said Martyn Fletcher, Fresca CEO and Thanet Growers chairman.

He added that it aligned seamlessly with its vision to “grow more protected crops and underscores our commitment to delivering unparalleled value to our customers”.

“It is of the utmost importance that we continue to grow our own produce here in the UK,” said Fletcher. “Losing a local grower could mean having to import more produce from abroad, which is not only bad news for the environment, but it also reduces our own food security credentials.

“That’s why we feel this is a significant opportunity – to keep producing our own food locally and feeding our nation.”