Harpford fruit farm wins big awards

Mitch Tonks, chef and owner of The Seahorse Seafood and Rockfish restaurants in Dartmouth (left) pre

Mitch Tonks, chef and owner of The Seahorse Seafood and Rockfish restaurants in Dartmouth (left) presenting Sue and Richard Smedley of Four Elms Fruit Farm, Harpford, with their Taste Of the West Best In Category Award for their Cox/Bramley apple juice. - Credit: Archant

A FRUIT farm near Newton Poppleford says it’s ‘delighted’ to win two major food awards in its 50th year, describing it as a ‘major achievement’.

Four Elms Fruit Farm at Harpford scored a Taste Of The West Best In Category and Gold Award in the non-alcoholic drinks section for its Cox/Bramley apple juice.

A few weeks ago in the National Fruit Show – a key event for the industry – the farm’s Cox apple juice won Best Single Variety Juice and was subsequently awarded Best Entry In Show.

“We’re delighted,” said Four Elms Fruit Farm’s co-owner Richard Smedley.

“It goes to show that if we do things correctly, we can produce something that’s as good or better than other people.”

Four Elms Fruit Farm had previously netted Taste of the West gold, silver and bronze awards, but this year is the first time it won the prestigious Best In Category.

“In today’s marketing and food produce, we’re at an advantage because there’s only apples in our juice,” said Richard.

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“When you look at all the different types of soft drinks available, then this is a magnificent achievement.”

The farm has been in the Smedley family since the early 1960s and is this year celebrating its 50th anniversary, with a third generation of the family joining the business.

Having sold its Pick Your Own business, the farm has moved away from strawberries and raspberries to concentrate on growing apples and juice manufacture.

“The microclimate we have in Harpford is a major factor,” said Richard.

”The future is looking reasonably promising.”