New Member: Varfell Farms – The Beating Heart of Daffodil Production and Growing Future Leaders
Varfell Farms have joined MDS, we’re so excited to have them onboard!
Simon Gardner, the Farms Director at Varfell, gives us the ins-and-outs of what it’s like to run the beating heart of the World’s daffodil production from the South West of England and why they have invested in the future leaders of agri-food.
Who are Varfell?
Varfell Farms is the World’s largest daffodil grower, regeneratively growing flowers and bulbs across 1,800ha for multiple retailers across the UK and Europe.
Land selection, micro climates, the maritime peninsular of West Cornwall and a variety portfolio of over 2,000 varieties allows us to continually supply our customers from Christmas to Easter with daffodil flowers. In the summer months we harvest 10,000 tonnes of bulbs, much of which is replanted on our own farm for future flower production and the balance sold to the DIY sector and multiple retailers.
Life with Varfell
Varfell Farms is a fast-paced flower business. Supplying retailers daily with flowers that have a short shelf life creates an exciting and dynamic environment to work in. As the flowers are grown outdoors the winter weather has a huge effect on crop growth, going from a cold week to a warm week harvested crop volumes can quadruple.
It is the people at Varfell that makes the Farm a great place to work and at peak season this includes over 1000 pickers alongside a 150-strong packing team. Coupled with the surroundings of golden beaches and rugged cliffs, Cornwall is a truly great place to live.
MDS is a fantastic trainee scheme in the food and fresh produce sector and gives trainees great exposure to careers in the industry.
Varfell has recently expanded- allowing us to create roles for Trainees, such that they may grow and develop alongside us. Varfell is a fully vertically integrated business in the supply chain from seed to supermarket, while secondments shall be in a particular area of the business, the scale of Varfell offers insight across the full supply chain.