We took delivery of a new bit of kit at HECK HQ last week. Our ‘vertical farm’ is part of our big expansion plans at the factory that are needed to keep up with demand for our tasty range of products.
A few of our most popular products uses a lot of basil, and we use lots of other types of herbs to flavour our sausages and burgers too. So we thought we’d grow our own and looked into the best way of doing this. And so last week, as lorries arrived to take away pallet-loads of our sausages, burgers and mince for supermarket fridges across the UK, we had another lorry arriving to make a very exciting delivery for us – our ‘Vertical Farm’!
HECK’s Jamie Keeble said, “We’re really excited by the installation of the vertical farm on site – it’s literally a world first! We are farmers turned producers, my brother and grandad still farm the 800 acres around the HECK! HQ and they are fascinated as the unit is the future of farming! We will be the first food brand in the world to grow herb and vegetables onsite to put into our popular meat and vegan Italia range.”
The new unit pictured above will enable us to grow our own basil to go into our Chicken Italia and Vegan Italia products. Not only will this allow us to reduce the food miles of these ingredients, it means that we will be able to control the taste of the basil much more closely. There are lots of different varieties of basil and depending on which one you use can make a huge difference to the taste of the end products, so we’ll be able to grow the same variety on-site to keep the flavour of our best-seller lines consistently perfect.
We’re also really looking forward to experimenting with growing ‘micro-greens’ too. We’re always looking for ways to increase the nutritional value in our products, and to up the protein content of our vegan lines, and micro-veg will help us with this.
Jamie further explains, “There are huge benefits to vertical farming. No pesticides or herbicides, less water and food waste, no transport, more efficient production, taste control and better shelf life. Micro-nutrients will also provide fantastic health benefits as well as giving us a unique selling point. We are farmers originally and it’s really exciting to now be investing in the future of sustainable, cutting-edge agriculture and not relying on imports.”
The vertical farm is a first step for our coming business expansion plans, that will see us creating more jobs for the local community, and so this is a really exciting time for us. We hope to be able to share more news with you again very soon.
So, as they say, watch this space!
Sign up for our newsletter below to be the first to know about what's going on at HECK.