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FWAG and LEAF Marque: A Case Study

LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) exists to promote sustainable agriculture, food and farming, helping farmers to produce good food to high environmental standards. FWAG East has well-established links with LEAF and recently carried out a five year review of the famous Tiptree Estate’s LEAF Marque.

CASE STUDY: Wilkin & Sons: LEAF Marque five year review

As most of us know from the jars on our breakfast table, the farm’s main focus is jam and marmalade production. Strawberries tend to be the star of the show with the Little Scarlet a particular favourite. There are approximately 100 acres of polytunnels as well as outdoor beds and orchards, with fruit supplied to the on-site jam-making factory or fed into the supermarket supply chain under LEAF Marque certification.

The Farm:

  • 850 acres
  • Arable crops: winter wheat, spring barley, oilseed rape, beans
  • Fruit production includes: Raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, cherries, quince, medlar, strawberries
  • Key bird species: Tree sparrow, skylark, yellowhammer
  • Important mammal species: Brown hare, water vole
  • Nearby wildlife sites: Blackwater Estuary SSSI, Tiptree Heath SSSI

The LEAF Marque five year review looks back at how comprehensively the farm has fulfilled its obligations to LEAF, and establishes a new five year plan going forward. In compiling a record of the farm’s biodiversity the FWAG surveyor can build a picture of what the priorities of the plan need to be and how they can be incorporated into the LEAF Marque Global Standard. The farm survey enables us to see how well LEAF Marque standards have been met and where ‘weaknesses’ may be.

Wilkin and Sons is a company that takes its environmental responsibilities seriously, with the majority of its LEAF Marque targets easily met through initiatives such as HLS. The farm has taken steps including replanting hedgerows, reducing its chemical use by 80% to encourage beneficial insects, and creating buffer strips along all watercourses which provide excellent habitat for the water vole.

This genuine passion for the environment has led Wilkin and Sons to become a LEAF Demonstration Farm and they host a wide range of groups to show how it’s possible to produce good food in harmony with the environment – often seen as a challenge in today’s economic climate.

You are invited to join us at the farm for a fascinating insight into the famous Tiptree Estate and a chance to sample the end product! Our farm walk and cream tea will be held at 2pm on Tuesday 17th May at Wilkin & Sons Ltd, Brook End, Tiptree, Colchester, CO5 0RF. Booking is essential – call 01223 841507 to reserve your place.

At FWAG East we have wide-ranging experience of retailer and assurance schemes and can tailor our reports accordingly to meet the requirements of other schemes.

Contact us at the FWAG East office to discuss your requirements.

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FWAG East is part of the FWAG Association: www.fwag.org.uk. FWAG East is a limited company registered in England. Registered No: 08776388. Thanks to Chris Loades for images: http://chrisloades.webs.com/