Potato farmer, Robin Cropper. Potato farming runs deep throughout Robin Croppers veins. For more than 300 years, his family has been farmers and, amazingly, a recent investigation into his family tree revealed that every family member on his fathers side has been in farming since records began!
Inspired by his ancestors, Robin pursued a farming career and graduated top of the country from Lancashire College of Agriculture in 1979. Today, Robin and his eldest brother John co-own Moss End Farm, a 1,200 acre farm in Lancashire, harvesting cereal and potatoes. Alongside being a Red Tractor Assured farmer, Robin is a Potato Council ambassador and sits on the National Farmers Union potato forum.
Robin said: Being Red Tractor Assured is crucial to my business because it gives consumers reassurance that the produce grown on my farm upholds certain standards including traceability and environmental protection.
During an average year, J cropper & Sons produce more than 6,000 tonnes of potatoes which are sold to the merchant trade and chip shops, 75% of which are sold and consumed within a 25 mile radius of the farm, which helps Moss End Farm to stay geographically connected with their customers.
This year, Robin is one of 1,448 Red Tractor Assured potato growers in the UK and is supporting the 22nd annual Chip Week (18th-24th February 2013), which celebrates the humble chip. Britains on-going love affair with chips means that we enjoy them in nearly three billion meals every year a testament to their versatility, tastiness and value for money.
With so many great spud varieties to choose from, whether you prefer Maris Piper or King Edward the Red Tractor logo with the Union Jack on your potatoes guarantees that theyre fully traceable back to UK growers like Robin who continues to grow good quality potatoes that meet food safety and environmental standards (such as responsible use of plant protection products and planning for the conservation of the environment on-farm) set by the Red Tractor scheme.
Red Tractors Head of Marketing & Communications Richard Cattell said: Chip Week is fantastic for raising awareness of the joys of delicious potatoes sourced from Red Tractor farms and the success of UK farming communities. There are currently 78,000 Red Tractor Assured farmers, and Robin Cropper is a fine testament to the assurance scheme.
To celebrate Chip Week, passionate farmer and chef Robin Cropper, has shared his top chip tips to help people produce delicious chips each and every time:
Top chip tips
Peel Maris Piper potatoes and cut into 8-12 mm wedges
Allow the chips to soak for 20 minutes and then rinse them to remove all of the starch
Dab the potatoes dry with a clean tea towel
Fry at 140⁰c for 4-5 minutes
Lift the chips out and increase the temperature to 180⁰C
Fry until crisp and golden