Laurence J Betts Ltd is a longstanding family business based near West Malling, Kent, producing a selection of whole head, babyleaf and multi leaf salads as well as cereals.
Betts has an extensive and interesting history and heritage which has shaped the way the business operates today. The farm today is run by the fourth generation of the Betts family – Stephen J Betts as CEO and Ian S Betts as Arable Production Manager. Nick Ottewell was appointed as Farm Manager to oversee the daily activities of the farm. The farm is an innovative, focused and committed food production system, supplying high quality, fresh salad products to customers all over Europe. In 2014 the business had a huge investment for a brand-new cold storage and packhouse facility.
Betts understand that their business is dependent on our environment and aim to sustain it to guarantee a prosperous future of food production for the generations ahead. They are committed to their responsibilities of maintaining the environment and farming in a sustainable manner and as such:
- The farm encourages wild flowers and has an on-going policy of maintaining and sowing wild flower meadows to encourage wildlife, such as bees. Rare species of flowers have been spotted on site, including the Bee Orchid and the Grass Vetching.
- Solar panels have been invested in to provide a replacement of electricity used by the farm and its operations.
- Money has been spent on reservoirs for increased capacity of water on our different farming sites.
- On-going investment into energy efficiency is taking place. New technology in cold storage and in machinery is constantly being invested in to help reduce energy usage.
- There is constant maintenance of our woodland areas in a sustainable manner.
- The farm has a very sustainable approach to farming. All of our farming operations take place with great consideration to the impact on the environment.
- The farm participates in a five-year environmental scheme which involves leaving uncropped areas of the farm to encourage wildlife.
- There have been on-going projects around the farm to encourage bird presence. This includes nesting boxes for owls and designated strips for skylark nesting. Through surveys conducted by the RSPB there have been some fantastic results seen around the farm, including an increasing number of birds of prey.
- The yard surrounds Offham church which is in an historic conservation area and is classed by Kent county council as a site of historic importance.
- A Farm Biodiversity Plan has been written up for the farm, which assesses the current biodiversity and lays out future sustainability programmes.
Betts believe that the local community should enjoying the surrounding countryside and are committed to promoting local produce and farming within the community, through farm visits and education. They encourage and invite the community to learn about the source of their food and therefore provide regular visits and tours to educate and inform people of our food production system. Great care is taken to maintain the heritage of the landscape, integrating farming with environmental stability for everybody to enjoy.
Laurence J Betts Ltd is always looking to give back to the community which includes:
- Visits from local schools
- Visits from local colleges
- Farm tours for visitors
- Visits of Research and Development (ADAS soil talk)
- Providing talks to local horticultural societies
- Giving talks to local
- Parish councils
- Maintaining local woodlands and nature trails
- Open Farm Sunday
- Encourages local walkers/ramblers by maintaining footpaths and trails
- Hosting world cheese award ceremony
- Providing assistance in clearing local flood and storm disaster
- Hedge cutting and tree clearing throughout the local community
- Helps during the annual Offham May
- Day Celebration
- Hosting NFU events and farm walks
Laurence J Betts Ltd contributes a percentage of annual profits to charities all over the world:
- Kings Hill Christian Fellowship
- Farming Community Network
- The Quest School for Autistic Children, Ryarsh
- Kagando Hospital, Uganda
- Children with Cancer UK
- The Matthew Elvidge Trust
- Crusade For World Revival (CWR)
- Offham Parish Church
- St. Faith’s Church, Maidstone
- Lawrence Barham Memorial Trust in Rwanda
- The Banana Tree Project, Tanzania
- The Banunule School, Uganda
- Hellenic Ministries, Athens
They are committed to their responsibilities of maintaining the environment and farming in a sustainable manner
Hannah from Classic Fresh Foods
- Cos / Romaine
- Little Gem
- Lollo Rosso
- Lollo Verdi
- Red Oak Leaf
- Red Salanova
- Green Salanova
- Wild Rocket
- Red Chard
- Baby Red Lettuce
- Land Cress
- Baby Green Batavia
- Baby Kale
- Hot Rocket
- Red Kale: Another superfood, Red Kale has a delicious nutty flavour with a hint of sweetness and good texture.
- Red Mizuna: A fresh, crisp texture which is less spicy than rocket but still with a peppery tone.
- Green Mizuna: A long and broad serrated leaf with a distinctive sharp yet earthy flavour.
- Mustard: A magnificent deep-red leaf with a tender and succulent texture and fresh oriental flavour. This leaf looks wonderful on its own yet creates a stunning effect when mixed with other green baby leaves.
- Green Sorrel: A wonderful deep-green and arrow-shaped leaf with a delightful tangy flavour.
- Multi Leaf Lettuce
- Spiky Red Multi Leaf
- Rounded Red Multi Leaf
- Green Multi-Leaf Batavia