At Crowthers Chartered Accountants we are especially proud to showcase the successes of our clients whenever possible, so it has been a pleasure to spend some time on a wet and windy February day with Andrew, Caroline and Tom Green, owners of AS Green Limited, on their family farm in Mathon, near Malvern.
Founded in 1953 when Andrew’s parents first moved from Ombersley to Rook Row Farm with the princely sum of just £37 in their pocket, the family farm was a modest one. The Farm comprised of approximately 50 acres and they produced approximately 50 tonnes of vegetables per year.
Andrew, one of four siblings, always knew that he wanted to farm and, in 1984, formed the farm partnership with his parents. Shortly afterwards Andrew and Caroline were married, and Caroline began her active role within the business.
Briefly tenants of The Duchy of Cornwall, Andrew and Caroline were able to purchase their farm in 1993, or as Andrew describes “buy their own piece of dirt.” The couple still describe this moment as their greatest achievement in farming.
With generations of farmers behind them, AS Green Limited bring a wealth of experience to everything they do. Now specialising in growing Tenderstem© Broccoli, Broad Beans, Runner Beans and Helda Beans, business really began to grow in the late 1990’s when they began their conversations with local Supermarkets.
At the same time Andrew and Caroline began a family of their own – Rebecca, 30, who now lives in Portugal, and Tom, 26, who joined the family business in 2015 after completing his degree in Agriculture from Harper Adams.
The relationship between the Green family and Crowthers Accountants began in early 2000 at a local seminar. Andrew says he quickly realised that Crowthers would be the right choice to help lead his business into its next phase of growth and since then AS Green Limited has gone from strength to strength at a staggering rate.
In the time since Crowthers have taken over as Accountants, working together with other professionals, the company has gone through Incorporation, set up a group structure, begun Pension Planning and claimed R&D tax credits. Crowthers have also assisted with recruitment and advised on all areas of tax planning.
Crowthers strive to provide the best possible service for all of our clients, meaning they can get on with what they do best.
Testimonial from Andrew and Caroline Green – ‘On the retirement of our existing Accountant in 2011, Andrew and Caroline looked for a new Practice, not only to carry out the routine work but to give sound Accountancy advice. We were introduced to Crowthers and there was an instant rapport with the Partners and the fact that this was a Specialist Agricultural Accountancy practice was just what we were looking for. Since being with them they have actively helped in the tax planning and rapid growth of our business which has been beneficial. The Team are always extremely knowledgeable and helpful.’
In 2005 the family invested in the build of a Packhouse at the Farm, which has since been expanded. This packing area allows them to maximise their crop by sorting and packing their own product on site and their fridge enhances freshness and quality.
The family now farm over 1000 acres within Herefordshire. 900 acres are used for vegetable production and the remaining acres are permanent pasture, supporting their sheep enterprise and helping to maintain the region’s beauty and biodiversity. At their peak this year AS Green Limited are expecting to employ almost 300 staff and produce approximately 3000 tonnes of Vegetables, supplying Waitrose, Sainsburys, Tesco, Marks and Spencer and Aldi to name a few.
They own over 700 sheep which Andrew insists are “his hobby” and are heading into their lambing season where they hope to welcome 1000 new arrivals. Andrew says that his sheep “make him feel like a Farmer again” and he takes great joy in spending time with them when he can.
AS Green Limited pride themselves on their Environmental focus. They are LEAF and Nurture accredited, produce 25% of their own electricity and have even built a reservoir on the farm which is fed by winter rainwater and a natural spring. The business also recycles all their waste packaging, which ensures none of their wastage is put into landfill.
In 2018, Andrew and Caroline were given the opportunity to purchase some of the land in Bishops Frome that they were renting. This led to the couple purchasing and restoring Cheyney Park, a beautiful country home set within 60 acres of land, which, along with two other properties, now forms a separate holiday let business.
Sophie Howard, Director at Crowthers says “It has always been a pleasure to work with Andrew, Caroline and Tom and watch the business grow significantly over the last few years. What they have achieved is incredible!”
When asked of the biggest challenge they face, Andrew and Caroline agreed that keeping up with the demand of their customers was tough.
Caroline shared with us that Andrew has, in the past, been referred to as “The best Tenderstem© grower in the world” and the family pride themselves on running a very tightly controlled ship, but with the mindset of a team who are prepared to do things a little bit differently. Andrew said that he “enjoys his work and is happiest outside on the farm”.
Despite their growth, and enormous success, the family remain grounded. The couple have no intention of retiring, but when asked of their ambition for the business their answer was a simple one, to leave a farming legacy for their children.