John had the privilege of having a personal guided tour of Huntapac one of the leading carrot packers in the country and suppliers to the major supermarkets in the UK.
Huntapac Produce Ltd is a third generation family-owned business which was established in 1942. Nestled in a small village in the heart of Lancashire, they specialise in growing, packing and distributing a variety of organic and conventional root vegetables.
Originally Huntapac supplied the local Fruit & Vegetable markets in Lancashire and Yorkshire however in 1967 a new pack house was built to cope with the increasing demand for high quality produce. In the following years they began to supply major UK supermarkets and increased the product range.
In more recent years it has more than doubled in size and become a 24-hour, 364-day-a-year operation, and one of the largest and most successful root producers in the UK with over 300 staff. Mr William Hunter the son of the original founder is still very much involved in the company
There is a high demand for organic produce and Huntapac has risen to the challenge and supplies depots all around the country.
Supplying some of the major supermarkets in the UK as well as independent retailers, wholesalers, food service, caterers and food manufacturing sectors standards are consistently very high and a strong management team ensure these standards are maintained at all times.
Here's a snapshot of John's visit to the Huntapac processing plant.
|Carrots rolling away for bagging||Sorting and Grading|
|Automated Bagging Operations|
By the end of this season in early summer approx 1950 acres of carrots from all over the country will have been grown, harvested, washed and packed by Huntapac Produce. Early season carrots are harvested by the top-lifting method where they are lifted from the ground by their tops. From October onwards until the end of the season share-lifting is used where the whole bed including the soil is taken. During the summer months harvesting through the night means that freshly lifted produce is delivered to the processing and packaging site in the early hours of the morning to be washed, polished, graded and packed ready for the customer. - Quite an operation!
Chantenays on their way to a supermarket near you!
More of the wonderful vegetable coming off the line (right)
The Company is also heavily involved with the local community, not only a major employer but also in its promotional work with local schools, raising awareness of the younger generation to the benefits of healthy eating and the important place of vegetables in their diets. Colin Carrot usually makes an appearance making the visit informative and fun.
For more information about Huntapac you can visit their web site here.
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