Case Study

Edward Vinson

Pre-assembled drip irrigation system reduces demands on precious farm labour supply.

Edward Vinson have been growing fruit for over 150 years in the South East of England. Developing into one of the UK’s leading suppliers of soft fruit including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackcurrants, Edward Vinson have also become a key plant breeder and propagator supplying other growers, with their varieties being supplied to all major UK multiples. Edward Vinson is split into three divisions, fruit production, propagation and breeding.

Fruit production is spread across four farms in Kent and exceeds over 100HA in production area. At peak times up to 400 pickers are required to ensure fresh fruit is delivered to meet the demand of retailers.

Berries irrigation and growing
Edward Vinson Sandbanks Farm,
Faversham
Strawberries growing farm agriculture

Client’s requirements

Traditionally, drip irrigation in the UK is assembled on the farm utilising the available labour. Tens of thousands of drippers are manually inserted into pre-punched pipe in a task that, whilst being repetitive and arduous, requires skill and experience in order to ensure the integrity of the completed system. As the cost for labour increases and the availability of that labour reduces the Edward Vinson Farm Manager, Gerard Olivier, was looking for a way to install drip irrigation with a reduced labour input and at the same time reduce some of the problems which can occur from incorrect assembly on site.

How Netafim helped

Gerard visited the Netafim production facility to see the production of the drip system and importantly the automated drip assembly. The pre-assembled drip system is delivered to site fully assembled and needs only to be laid out across the beds and connected to the hydraulic system.

Satisfied with the way that the drip was assembled and supplied Edward Vinson ordered assembled drip for their most recent expansion.

Key deliverables

  • High quality drip irrigation system delivered fully assembled
  • Significantly reduced local labour requirement at point of installation
  • Increase in quality and integrity of system via automated assembly and factory QA procedures
  • Overall cost saving compared with traditional installation of drip irrigation

In the future we will always try to use a pre-assembled drip system. The system from Netafim allows us to use our labour in other areas and the quality of the end system was significantly better than that of a farm assembled system.

Gerard Oliver, Farm Manager, Edward Vinson Ltd

Key results

The new system was delivered to meet the required lead time and successfully installed at Sandbanks Farm using minimal local labour. The quality of the installation clearly exceeded that of traditionally installed systems.

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