Yorkshire rhubarb grower E Oldroyd and Sons has will expand its forced rhubarb production by around 25 per cent over the next five years with the acquisition of the neighbouring 122-acre Castle Head Farm near Wakefield.
The company, which is one of the largest producers of forced rhubarb in the country, was able to make the investment thanks to finance from Yorkshire & Clydesdale bank, which is part of the Virgin Money group. E Oldroyd and Sons produces 1,000 tonnes a year of rhubarb in the famous Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle, of which 200 tonnes are forced.
Fifth generation farmer and business owner Janet Oldroyd said, “We now have much–needed additional rhubarb forcing sheds to increase our capacity. Our plans, and the Covid-19 pandemic, have put us into uncharted waters, but we were determined not to let a virus stand in the way of growth and innovation.
“I have been with Yorkshire Bank for 26 years and simply could not have bought the farm without the knowledge and invaluable support of our local agribusiness relationship manager, Darren Smith, who worked with us through every stage of the process.”
The investment will also help to modernise the facilities at Castle Head Farm so that the company can target new outlets for its produce including dealing directly with supermarkets. Yorkshire & Clydesdale Bank said it was ‘keen’ to re-assure the agricultural sector that transactions like these were still taking place, despite the Covid-19 situation.
Photo source: E Oldroyd & Sons