A HEREFORDSHIRE producer for Marks & Spencer has been rewarded at an M&S ‘Farming for the Future’ Award presentation, which took place at the Royal Welsh Show.

Andrew and Caroline Green, owners of Rook Row Farm based in Mathon, scooped runner-up in the Prince’s Countryside Fund Category which champions producers that are building resilience into their business to remain sustainable for future generations.

The family farming enterprise produces hand-harvested niche vegetables, led by Andrew and Caroline, with assistance from their son, Tom.

The family grow baby courgettes, broad beans, helda beans, runner beans and broccoli on 1,000 acres, on the edge of the Malvern Hills.

Whilst the family business began over 60 years ago, it is only in the last 20 years that Andrew and Caroline have taken over managing the enterprise.

In the face of increasing price pressures in the industry, the couple recognised the need to adapt their operation to remain competitive and decided to specialise in producing niche crops, such as baby courgette, and focus on forging strong relationships with customers.

In recent years the on-site packing facilities have outgrown their original small, two-room building, and they now occupy a new 1,200sq m space, allowing the business to pack and label all their own produce.

During peak summer harvests the team employ up to 200 members of staff.

Lauren Hladun, from Manor Fresh, who put the family forward for this award, said: “We believe the Green family deserve this award for their ability to adapt and overcome difficult situations, as well as their pure commitment to delivering a fantastic product.”

Claire Saunders, director of the Prince’s Countryside Fund, added: “The Prince’s Countryside Fund is delighted to be partnering with M&S on these awards, rewarding farmers who are preparing for the future and taking steps to becoming more resilient. Congratulations to Andrew and Caroline on winning this award and their clever approach to producing food for niche markets.”

Steve McLean, head of Agriculture and Fisheries at M&S, said: “We’re proud that this is our third year working with the Prince’s Countryside Fund on an award.”

“A S Green is a very worthy runner up in this category, impressing our judging team with their willingness to adapt their business model to remain successful, close work with customers to build a respected reputation and focus on growing high quality products.”