Seed, Animal Feed, Wings, Fly, Flight, Ave, Bird

Vine House Farm Shortlisted for Charity Partnership – Small Businesses Award

Family-run Vine House Farm are proud to reveal they have been shortlisted for the ‘Charity Partnership – Small Business Award’ at the 2016 Business Charity Awards. The nomination comes after the Lincolnshire based farm announced they had reached the £1 million mark in donations to The Wildlife Trusts.

“We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Small Business Charity Award at the prestigious Business Charity Awards” said Lucy Taylor of Vine House Farm. “It is because of the fantastic support of our customers that Vine House Farm is going from strength to strength and has been able to support such a great charity.

“This is the first time we have been nominated for this award and, while there is some strong competition within the category, we are very much looking forward to attending the event which we are sure will be a fantastic night.”

The Business Charity Awards 2016 will be hosted on Wednesday 20 April and is part of Fundraising Week, which looks to reward all the amazing charity work that businesses across Great Britain have been involved with. There are some major national brands also shortlisted for awards, including Marks & Spencer, Royal Mail and British Gas. Vine House Farm are just one of three small businesses that have been nominated so this represents a real achievement for the company.

“We strongly believe that our longstanding partnership with The Wildlife Trusts will help safeguard the natural world we live in for generations to come,” said Mrs Taylor. Vine House Farm’s commitment to The Wildlife Trusts started over eight years ago when they began donating up to 5% of their sales to the charity.

Stephanie Hilborne OBE, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, commented: “I am proud that our partnership with Vine House Farm has been shortlisted for a Business Charity Award.

The Wildlife Trusts have worked with Nicholas and Vine House Farm since 2007.  With his genuine care for wildlife, honesty, integrity and authenticity Nicholas is the driving force behind a partnership which has raised over £1 million for The Wildlife Trusts and has helped 19,000 households to benefit from inviting nature into their gardens.  This is incredible support for a wildlife charity from a small family business.

Regular contact with nature has a profoundly positive effect on our health and wellbeing and feeding the birds is a simple way to get in contact with wildlife.   The way in which Nicholas manages his farm makes a meaningful difference to wildlife in Lincolnshire and in the same way we can all make a big difference by feeding birds and making our gardens friendly to wildlife.  Nicholas draws great joy from feeding the birds on his land and now he’s feeding birds across the UK – more than he ever thought possible.”

Vine House Farm started off with a clear vision which still holds true today; farming in a way that encourages wildlife and the wide range of habitats it needs. Their aspirations have always been to contribute to the preservation of wildlife through their growth of various wild bird foods and now their wonderful charity work is being recognised on a national level.


food, eggs

Investec Mid-Market 100 Index shines light on High Growth Businesses

 LJ Fairburn & Son Ltd has been featured in a dynamic ranking of the UK’s 100 fastest growing private companies.

Businesses on the inaugural Investec Mid-Market list are the cream of the crop of 24,000 medium sized businesses in Britain that represent more than £1 trillion of turnover and 25% of private sector employment. The list indicates the broad nature of the UK economy, both in terms of industry sector and geographical spread.

The report highlighted that growth is at 40.4% and showed the growing importance of the north, with dynamic businesses not just being confined to London and the South East; the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber account for 30% of high growth mid-market UK businesses.

In 1951 Fairburn’s started producing eggs. From an initial purchase of 150 chickens, today the business is led by 3rd generation family directors and is one of the largest egg producers, packers and distributors in the UK.

Sarah Louise Fairburn, Brand & Sales Director at LJ Fairburn commented;

“In 2012 our family business experienced a dramatic restructure and transformation. Faced with a sink or swim situation we knew change was needed in order for us to survive. We decided to cut out the middle man and began selling our eggs direct to retail. For a family team who had never had any retailer experience, this was an extremely courageous move.”

Initial contracts with Aldi and Iceland paved the way for future success. Alan Metcalfe, Financial Director at LJ Fairburn & Son Ltd, adds

“After securing initial contracts with retailers, Fairburn’s was able to develop and win more. The business was able to significantly expand and invest including a brand new production facility compliant with welfare regulations.”

Sarah Louise Fairburn concluded;

“Our family operation has transformed into a £60million turnover business. We now employ over 180 members of staff, have made significant investment in technologically advanced equipment and secured contracts with eight major retailers. Every week we supply over 13 million Class A eggs to retail. We’re a young, tenacious and driven team who have taken risks, changed structure and learnt along the way – and we’re absolutely delighted with our achievements.”

BNI Tennyson – Visitors Day 29 April

BNI Tennyson are hosting a Visitor Day on Friday 29th April, focusing specifically on the events sector. Businesses from caterers, restaurants, car hire to wedding cakes, are all invited to  join BNI for the opportunity to meet businesses with like-minded clients.

BNI Tennyson is a local group which meets weekly and is a  Lincoln based business group that over the last 12 months has passed over £1,335,000 in new business to members of the group.

Select Lincolnshire member, Susie Carlisle from The Lincoln Tea and Coffee Company is the current President of Tennyson, says “The meetings are only a great way to find new customers but to meet with a wide variety of local businesses.”

The meeting begins at 6.45am and finishes at 9.00am. Visitors are invited to enjoy a full English breakfast, professional  surroundings and enjoy networking with a number of local businesses. The meeting takes place at the Lincoln Football Club,  Sincil Bank, Lincoln in the VIP suite.

For further details or to RSVP for a visit please email Susie at



Greater Lincolnshire LEP  are asking for help in structuring the Greater Lincolnshire Water Plan

Please see below the AHDB access to water survey which we’d like to encourage you to complete.  This survey feeds directly into our emerging Greater Lincolnshire Water Plan and is therefore an important reference document in the evidence base.

Please see further details and background below.


Why vegetable and potato growers should participate in the AHDB access to water survey

In the south east and some other areas the population is growing, and to maintain environmental standards of water bodies, several changes in licensing will take place. All permanent licences will be converted to time limited permits and ‘head room’ is expected to be removed. The situation could be particularly difficult in future for those businesses which want to expand and use more water.

At the recent United Kingdom Irrigation Association (UKIA) conference a speaker from Spain explained that in his eastern catchment, 80% of total water is used for agriculture/horticulture. Laws regarding governance of water go back 1,000 years. Reservoir capacity can cope with a seven year drought. In Britain, there is no established legal right of agriculture for water, and indeed agriculture is not regarded as an ‘essential user’ by Defra. Our reservoir capacity is tiny in comparison with other countries. In relation to the Water Framework Directive monitoring, the quality of our waterways is generally much poorer than in France, Spain, Italy and Denmark. There are several reasons, including our industrial heritage and lack of storage capacity.

AHDB isn’t a lobbying organisation; however we can state the facts. AHDB has a direct line to the industry and to those who want to lobby on behalf of growers and as such we can help generate the impartial data to inform that debate. Defra and the Environment Agency have also said that they lack data on water use by agriculture/horticulture and that they can’t or won’t fund the obtaining of that data. Growers in various sectors around the country have little by way of unifying organisations, but there is AHDB, which is why a strategic decision has been taken to undertake this work.  There have been many reports making reference to water for agriculture, and figures from a few relatively small areas, but there is a major gap at the national level and this is what the AHDB water use survey aims to address.

Because horticulture is so diverse, small samples can’t be extrapolated to the whole. The only way to clarify the importance of irrigation water is by a really large number of farmers and growers answering the questions, so that all types of horticulture and water availability and parts of the country are represented.  One need for a national picture is that some decisions, such as on grants for reservoir construction, are made on a national level.

If a grower has looked up the figures required beforehand (listed in the blurb at the top of the survey), completing the survey takes 20-30 minutes. So far, there has been stronger input from potato growers than from vegetable and protected crop growers.




Fruit, Vegetables, Box, Healthy, Food, StrawberriesSeptember 4 th 2016

Woodhall Spa Jubilee Park will be hosting a Festival of food & fitness.
This will be a unique combination of demonstrations and stalls show-casing the finest of healthy Lincolnshire food alongside the huge variety of sport and fitness activities available in the County.

The emphasis will be on food which is both delicious and healthy, with demonstrations and promotions of high quality, innovative and fresh Lincolnshire products. Book your stand by emailing

Belton Autumn Fair

Classic mansion

Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October, 9.30am – 5.30pm

Belton House is a National Trust property based just outside of Grantham. In 2016, Belton will be hosting a fair to celebrate great Lincolnshire food, drink and crafts, as well as the many gifted craftspeople that make them. We’re looking to gather together these great producers and give them an opportunity to sell their wares and show off what makes them special.

Belton received over 400, 000 visitors from January 2015 – February 2016, and we can expect 2, 500 or more visitors per day to events such as this.

Stallholders – if you produce your own food, drink or crafts that you would like to sell on a stall, please get in touch.

Craftspeople – if you have a skill, from traditional woodturning or making porcelain or glass products, to making delicious bread, cakes, beer or wine that you’d like to showcase at the event, as well as sell your product too, we’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to book a space, register your interest, or simply find out more, please get in touch with Sam Gee, Marketing and Events Officer at Belton House –