A Lincolnshire vegetable grower which supplies the likes of budget supermarket giant Aldi has stated it has been affected by ‘serious climatic challenges’ during its latest financial year. Keepstem, which owns Lincolnshire Field Products, has posted a turnover of £51.7 million for the 12 months to 1 February 2020, compared to £53.6 million in the prior year. Its pre-tax losses remained static at £1.5 million, newly filed accounts for the Wykeham-based company show.
A statement signed off by the board said: "Once again, climatic conditions brought about serious challenges for the business. After a drier than average to 2019, in a period of just a few days in early in June extreme amounts of rain fell on the businesses land bank that amounted to more than 200 percent of the monthly average. This had an immediate adverse effect on short term availability of our brassica vegetables and a longer-term effect on the yield of both brassica and potatoes.”
"The reduction in yield that was a direct cause of these heavy rains was further exacerbated in the autumn of 2019 that proved to be the wettest on record for our part of England. This made the task of harvesting crops particularly challenging and costly. The overall impact of this very wet weather was to lead to a reduction in turnover and crop yields and an increase in operating costs that squeezed gross profit margins."