Fred Hartley's Onions


Producing high quality onions for Sainsbury's

Fred Hartley Estates Ltd grows 80ha of onions, with roughly half Red and half Brown, both planted as seed. We also farm about 20ha of onion setts (planted as bulbs) which produce a yield quicker, whereas the drilled onions produce a larger yield over an extended period of time.

The Onions are planted in the case of setts, in February and drilled, in the case of seeds (Browns and Reds), in March
Over recent seasons we have seen dry springs and summers, well at least until the harvester comes out of the shed! Managing the amount of water that is available to a growing crop is vital in producing a high quality, high yielding crop. Through being a member of Greenshoots, a local producer organisation we have been able to purchase irrigation equipment with the help of EU funding that has been essential in growing our 2013 setts.
When harvesting the onions, the quality of the resulting crop is never comprimised by hurrying. All varieties are given at least 4.5 months to mature, and in the case of seeds, this rises to 6 months. Generally speaking, the setts are harvested in July and the drilled varieties are harvested in August through to September.
Once the onions are harvested, they are graded, firstly by machine and secondly by the undeniably effective hands and eyes! We take the utmost care in storing our onions, making sure humidity levels are kept at a low and stable level. We aim to produce around 45 Tonnes per Hectare of land

We can currently facilitate;

1600 Tonnes of Cold Storage
1000 Tonnes of Ambient Storage
450 Tonnes of CA Storage

250 Tonnes of CA Storage At Rustler Produce

With the crop in store, we work closely with Rustler Produce with who we have the contract to supply Sainsbury's. This ensures the crop leaves our stores in the best possible condition to be packed and arrives to the customer in the same way.