Loddington Farm Ltd is a fifth generation fruit-growing business in the heart of the Garden of England. The business comprises two farms: Loddington Farm, on the Greensand Ridge near Maidstone – bought from the Cornwallis Estate by Frederick Smith in 1882 – and West Pikefish Farm, at Laddingford, in the Weald of Kent.
James is following in the footsteps of Frederick, Cuthbert, Gordon and Alan Smith. After a degree in crop science from Reading University, work on local farms and a spell travelling the world for fruit importers, Mac Multiples, he returned to the farm in 2002. His role as managing director involves everything from planning the long-term business strategy of Loddington Farm and representing the fruit industry locally and nationally, to mending tractors. He is also closely involved with Avalon Produce, the marketing and growing group.
Paul oversees day-to-day operations on both farms, including managing staff and co-ordinating spraying, pruning, thinning and picking. He returned to the family business in 2008 after working for the local authority, within the departments of public rights of way and urban regeneration. A first class degree in environmental chemistry has stood him in good stead, dealing with the ever-changing advances in horticulture and the alchemy of food production – a challenge he relishes.
Kerry helps to keep everyone on track, from the relative safety of the farm office. Having always been interested in farming, Kerry’s first job was in a milking parlour at the age of 14 before moving into a role in livestock marketing. She has worked at Loddington Farm since 2008, dealing with payroll, book keeping and all the admin involved in running a busy fruit farm.