A well-established fruit and vegetable grower on Anglesey has achieved the much sought-after food stamp of approval for their rhubarb. Having been in business for nearly 50 years, Hootons Homegrown have recently secured the Red Tractor accreditation with the help of Menter Môn’s Môn Larder Scheme.
The Hootons accreditation is the first for rhubarb in Wales. The hope is that the status will allow them to reach new and larger scale customers under their Anglesey Rhubarb Farm brand.
James Hooton explains:
“Having set up our family business back in the 1970s we have built an enviable reputation and are well- known for our quality produce. We were keen to develop our company further and to target different and larger buyers in the catering and retail sector. Accreditation is a must-have to access these markets, and we saw the Red Tractor scheme as a way to do this.
“We’re delighted to have been successful and are grateful to Menter Môn and the team at Môn Larder for their support. It feels like a big step forward for us, but one that certainly adds value to our brand. We are now supplying a number of wholesalers both locally and across the border. Being accredited gives us the confidence which will in turn we hope, lead to increased sales.”
The Red Tractor logo enables customers to recognise food that has been produced to the highest standards with traceability from farm to customer. In a process which took over 12 months, Hootons managed to demonstrate that their rhubarb met rigorous safety standards and reached the mark in terms of quality.
Dafydd Gruffydd is Managing Director of Menter Môn. He said:
“We’re delighted for James and the team at Hootons and pleased that we could work with the business to understand the process to achieve accreditation. We look forward to seeing the Hootons brand go from strength to strength as their rhubarb now meets the requirements of volume buyers.”
Founded in 2000, Red Tractor is a food chain assurance scheme that guarantees the high standards of British food and drink products. The tractor logo is now well-recognised, it can be seen on most supermarket shelves and is a pre requisite for many larger supply chains.
Môn Larder is a Menter Môn project. It was set up is 2019 as a local food and drink hub. It brings regional producers and processors together from across north Wales, to help them respond to opportunities arising from major projects and larger scale procurement requirements. By working with well-known and experienced producers and processors like Hootons, Môn Larder aims to help ensure the region’s food sector can thrive.