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Membership Continues to Rise as 2004 Draws to a Close

Date: 20/12/2004 | Posted by John Garton
Four more companies have joined the Genuine Jersey Products Association (GJPA) – more than doubling the number of members since the beginning of the year. The Association now has 44 members compared to just 20 at the beginning of 2004.

The latest companies to join are Beechvale Farm Orchard, Belles Fleurs Nursery, Fresh Farm Organics and Flower and Plant Nurseries Ltd.

Andrew Averty, who runs Beechvale Farm Orchard, has been growing cooking and desert apples at his family farm in St John since 1959. Andrew, who had his own dairy herd for 11 years, converted to organic farming in the late 1990s and has 400 apple trees growing varieties including Coxes and Golden Delicious.

He is the largest supplier to La Mare Vineyards, which makes a number of apple-based products, as well as selling to Fresh Farm Organics and from his farm in Sion.

Andrew says: “I have been very impressed with the success of Genuine Jersey in the past year as it supports everything producers like me are trying to achieve. Not only is it a stamp of local quality but it lets Islanders know about the variety of home-grown produce available on their doorstep”.

Fresh Farm Organics in St Lawrence is run by Steven and Linda Carter. Steven, who has been an agricultural farmer for a quarter of a century, also began converting to organic farming nine years ago. He and his wife now run the largest organic farm in Jersey and sell a wide range of seasonal crops including tomatoes, cucumbers, French beans, cauliflowers, Jersey Royals, swede and broccoli. Their produce is available in Checkers and the Co-op as well as from their farm shop and home-delivery service.

Linda, who previously worked as a trust officer, says: “We have built up a loyal customer base who enjoy the superior taste and flavour that we believe organic produce offers. We are almost half-way through converting our land to organic farming and believe being part of the Genuine Jersey brand will be a significant marketing boost to our business”.

Another new member is Flower and Plant Nurseries Ltd who launched last year selling mail-order Jersey bedding plants which are grown in St Ouen. The company, which grows bedding plants all year round, promotes the business by placing promotional offers in regional newspapers throughout the UK.

Director Tim Dunningham is the former chief executive of Flying Brands and an existing member of Genuine Jersey through his company Genuine Jersey Produce Direct.

He says: “We have great experience in this business and have been delighted with how well the company has performed since it started last October. As a member of Genuine Jersey I am well aware of the benefits of belonging to the Association and given Jersey’s reputation for horticulture I think the logo will be an important marketing tool for us when trying to attract business from the UK”.

The final new member is Bernie Rebours who runs Belles Fleurs Nursery in Grouville. He has been a long-standing supporter of Genuine Jersey and took part in this year’s Country Show which involved a number of GJPA members.

“The Association’s membership is growing all the time,” says chairman Hamish Marett-Crosby, “We receive a handful of applications every month not all of which get through the rigorous application process. As always we go to great lengths to ensure every product meets the Genuine Jersey criteria before it can display the distinctive logo.

“The Association has already got some great new initiatives planned for 2005 and we’re looking forward to an equally successful and productive year ahead”.