Anthony Snell

My name is Anthony Snell and I’m a second generation blackcurrant grower. My late father Hugh and late uncle Norman began growing blackcurrants in the 1950’s and my brother, George, and I continue as growers today.

How long have you been growing blackcurrants?

For about 40 years!

What varieties do you grow and in what region?

We’re in South Herefordshire and grow specialist Ribena varieties, Ben Starav, Ben Klibreck, Ben Hope, Ben Alder and Ben Tirren. Growing these different varieties allows us to spread the harvest period.

How much do you harvest annually and where do they go?

We harvest about 600 tonnes per year, with the largest proportion on contract to Ribena. A smaller proportion of our fruit is frozen for IQF for M&S Frozen Fruit packs and An increasing acreage is dedicated to Organic, with Yeo Valley as our main customer.

Do you produce anything yourself with the fruit?
We’re proud to run Windmill Hill Fruits producing frozen IQF berry packs for the farm shops and deli sector. Apart from some Blackcurrant Gin for customer gifts, we leave most final production to manufacturing food experts!
What else do you grow?
Strawberries, raspberries and a range of other soft fruits for the major supermarkets. We’re a busy farm!
Why do you love growing blackcurrants?
It is so satisfying growing such a healthy crop.
Can you give one tip that people could benefit from when growing blackcurrants?

Only planting in the best fields. Dedicate time and agronomic expertise to produce the best quality crops.

Can you tell us about some of the ways in which you manage the land sustainably?

We are a LEAF Demonstration Farm and involved with all aspects of the Wildlife Trust with field margins, bird boxes etc.

What’s your favourite way to enjoy blackcurrants?
Naturally, we love blackcurrants in Ribena and frozen blackcurrants on breakfast cereal!
If you were a blackcurrant artist what genre of art do you think best represents you in your growing approach and why?

A combination of Old Master and Modernist!