Greenhill Fruit farm are a family-run fruit farm based near Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford which has stayed devoted to its aim to provide some of the best fruit farm produce available in Ireland. Founder and proprietor Eamonn and Deirdre Crean told Irish Tractor & Agri more.
Established in 2007, Greenhill Fruit Farm is one of the last remaining fruit farms which grow a percentage of fruit in the traditional method i.e. in the soil which produces sweet succulent fruit with a unique flavour. Although it costs more to produce fruit in this method, the range is offered at no extra cost.
Indeed Greenhill Fruit Farm has been providing customers with superior-tasting fruit that is of a consistently-high quality.
“I started selling fruit 30 years ago and started this company in 2007,” explained farm proprietor Eamonn. “Deirdre and I developed it then into the business that it is today and the taste and quality is still there 11 years later.
“I come from a background of three generations of growers. My grandfather grew his first plantation of strawberries way back in 1947. We’re heading into the fourth generation here now.”
Today Greenhill Fruit Farm in widely recognised as one of the country’s premier fruit farms and the aim is to provide the best fruit farm produce available in Ireland and make it available to the public at affordable prices. Eamonn also pointed out that 45 percent of the turnover from his business goes directly back into labour.
The fruit is fully protected from the elements, which guarantees a consistently high quality, while all fruit is picked and packed on a daily basis which allows founder Eamonn Crean and his team to offer the freshest, highest quality produce on the market.
All Greenhill’s fruit is grown in accordance with Bord Bia quality assured system and is also HACCP approved.
During the summer season, Eamonn employs in and around 185 part-time staff while all year round he has the equivalent of 60 full-time staff.
“We’ve had road side sales units in 11 different counties for the last 30 years,” Eamonn proudly stated.
“We get great support from the growers in other counties and great support from Bord Bia as well. It’s nice to be in an industry where people are able to support each other. We have a very dedicated team here because in this line of work what needs to be done has to be done today.”
It’s very much a multinational effort at Greenhill Fruit Farm, as Eamonn revealed. “Our manager is Romanian and our chief grower is Bulgarian. Our junior grower is Romanian as are the majority of the maintenance crew and some of the pack-house team. Our head of irrigation (who is also my cousin) is Irish and all the pickers are European.
“Nearly half of our staff would be involved in marketing as two-thirds of our fruit is sold directly to businesses – to local shops and hotels in the surrounding counties and to multinationals in Dublin.
“We also employ a lot of Irish students, who sell on our roadside stalls. We sell fruit on the roadside in many counties and that’s still our main outlet. But we know we are only as good as our last punnet sold and we are under no illusions whatsoever about the importance of quality. That’s why I put my mobile number on every punnet sold and listen to feedback from our many customers
“Mother Nature has caused us great difficulty this year with storm Emma causing extensive damage to our tunnels. All focus is now on rebuilding the tunnels and ensuring that the flow of fruit is as close to originally planned as possible.
“With the summer season fast-approaching, Greenhill Fruit Farm’s delicious fruit will be back on the roadside once more. The roadside fruit selling window is a short one, running from mid-May until the end of August
“It’s a niche market and we sell under an exemption which was granted by the Government. The roadside tradition is a valuable second market for growers,” the Wexford man notes.
“There is a huge tradition of roadside selling in Wexford and there is also a strong tradition of people who continue to buy the product.”
Each punnet sold is as fresh as it possibly can be, according to Eamonn.
“What’s picked today, you will get tomorrow,” he proudly stated. “We pick it, chill it, put it on a lorry and travel overnight before loading it on vans for sale the next morning. The vans then bring the fruit to the various roadside locations.”
Greenhill’s fruit is also available at People’s Park farmers market while restaurants and hotels in Dublin are also supplied through various catering companies.
Eamonn has been greatly helped in the development of his business by Bord Bia, Teagasc as well as Wexford Local Development and he has travelled extensively across Europe with his team in the past to help increase the knowledge on all aspects of fruit farming.
Strawberry production is concentrated in early May while at the end of the same month the focus switches to raspberries until blackberries start in mid-June.
“The next stage is to start selling fruit in early May to the many stores nationwide in addition to the numerous roadside stands. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal customers throughout the country who have helped make Greenhill Fruit Farm the success it is today.”
Keep an eye out for their excellent product…
Greenhill Fruit Farm
Tel: 053 9247556
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 6 No 4, June/July 2018