Hall Hunter Partnership - Family farming since 1966
Hall Hunter Partnership is a family business run by Harry Hall, with his parents Mark and Mary. It was formed in May 1966 when Mark and Mary married and, together with Mark´s mother, bought Heathlands Farm near Wokingham, Berkshire. The farm had previously been used for beef cattle, but the family background was in vegetable production to be marketed through grower stands in the original Covent Garden Market. A niche market in salad production was identified and for the first four or five years this is what was grown at Heathlands.
'Pick your own' and farm shop
In 1970, HHP planted two acres of strawberries and established the first 'pick your own' farm in Berkshire. This grew significantly over the next ten years and, with the opening of a farm shop in 1974, all crops produced from the land were sold at the farm gate. Mark Hall was the founder chairman of the Farm Retail Association and lectured and ran training courses for several years on this particular form of farm diversification.
The growth in the power of the supermarkets became a threat to the viability of farm shops and, in 1989, the shop was sold to become a garden centre.
Focus on strawberries
Continuing changes in the market led to a strategic decision to concentrate on strawberry production. In 1992, five acres of strawberries were grown for the supermarkets and marketed by Berryworld Ltd. By 2004, that had grown to 180 acres of strawberries, 130 acres of raspberries and 7 acres of blackberries.
In 1997, Mark and Mary were joined in the business by Harry who trained in Horticultural Business Management at the University of London, Wye College.
The business has continued to grow and now employs over 2000 people at the height of the season.
We currently farm over 1100 acres, the majority of it involved in the growing or propagating of plant material for the production of soft fruit.
43 acres of glasshouse production have been added to the traditional farmed acreage together with cutting edge substrate growing systems.