Thanet Earth has completed its sixth new greenhouse.
The greenhouse is being used to grow a mix of speciality tomato varieties, specially selected to suit the requirements of the UK retailers.
Fitted with the latest in horticultural equipment and technology, the sixth greenhouse is also thermally-linked to the other greenhouses on site. This is a new development designed to make the site more energy-efficient.It provides a way to move the heat generated by the Combined Heat & Power units between the greenhouses, increasing flexibility.
The greenhouse also features sodium grow lights throughout to ensure the 52-week UK tomato harvest continues in the new production space.
As with the existing greenhouses, the new production facility makes use of rainwater capture and biological pest control to maintain the site’s environmental credentials.
The latest phase has created 130 jobs in the care and management of the greenhouse and crop packing, bringing the total number of employees to around 830.
Thanet Earth’s Managing Director, Des Kingsley said: “Adding more capacity for British-grown speciality tomato production will make Thanet Earth an even stronger partner for our retail customers. Their consumers are huge supporters of UK-grown products and the demand for British produce is expected to increase. The Thanet Earth name is well-known and respected in this regard. This additional 52-week production of British tomatoes will be a very welcome boost to retail shelves.”
Phase one of the construction was for three greenhouses at the site near Birchington, with their first harvests in 2009. Then in 2012 a fourth greenhouse was constructed specifically for tomato growing, its harvest beginning in 2013.
The fifth and sixth have been completed this year with one more greenhouse planned for construction.