Elveden is a 22,500 acre country estate, of which over 10,000 acres is farmland. This makes us the largest ring-fenced arable farm in lowland Britain. The land at Elveden was transformed for agricultural use in 1927 by Rupert Guinness, great great grandson of Arthur Guinness (founder of the Guinness brewery.) The field layout he implemented is still virtually identical today, with large fields of up to 100 acres in size that are well-suited to today’s powerful machinery, and pays testament to his forward-thinking attitude.
We are passionate about environmentally-responsible farming and work hard to ensure that biodiversity at Elveden thrives alongside our farming practices. Read more about our Conservation work here.
Our farm specialises in the production of vegetables especially potatoes, onions, carrots and parsnips which dominate our farming. Around 6% of the UK’s onions are grown at Elveden! We also grow cereals such as rye, barley and wheat to balance the rotation, ensuring our soils remain fertile and productive for generations to come. More rye is grown at Elveden than on any other farm in the UK and we are major suppliers to the nation’s crisp-bread bakers.
Consistency of quality and volume is achieved through the application of the highest levels of science and technology. Irrigation, mechanisation and a highly skilled production team are key to our success.
Elveden lies in the geographical area known as Breckland or “The Brecks”, the name of which, derives from the medieval term for “broken land”, referring to the nutrient deficient sandy soils. The soil structure consists of sand with flints, over a chalky till. The sand depth varies from 10cm – 100cm. It is very free draining, with very low moisture holding capacity.
The climate is semi-continental with hot summers, low rainfall and cold winters.
Water is treated as an extremely valuable resource at Elveden, as irrigation is key. Extracted under license from the aquifer, the water is stored in two reservoirs on the estate. 130 miles of pipework distributes the water throughout the estate.
We have been working closely with LEAF for many years and believe strongly in the principles behind their “Integrated Farm Management” philosophy. We are proud to be a LEAF demonstration farm. Read more about our association with LEAF here.
Red Tractor is the UK’s largest food assurance scheme. Its respected food standards are used across the food supply chain to provide clear food labelling about the quality and sourcing of your food. Read more about the Red Tractor marque here.
BRC Global Standards is a leading safety and quality certification program, used by over 21,000 certificated suppliers in 123 countries, with certification issued through a worldwide network of accredited certification bodies.
The Standards guarantee the standardisation of quality, safety and operational criteria and ensure that manufacturers fulfil their legal obligations and provide protection for the end consumer. BRC Global Standards are now often a fundamental requirement of leading retailers. Read more about BRC here.
We are proud to grow potatoes and carrots for McDonalds and have been specially chosen by them as a “Flagship Farm” under their European initiative to recognise growers that “demonstrate excellent practice in at least one area of sustainability, while also operating to generally high standards in all other areas”. Read the case study here.