The Wilkin family have been farming at Tiptree, Essex, since 1757, and making quality preserves since 1885.
They grow a wide range of traditional English fruits and use them to make conserves, condiments, and other treats in their nut-free factory by the farm. They received their first Royal Warrant from George V in 1911, and remain Royal Warrant holders as purveyors of Tiptree Products to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Every member of staff is part of their Employee Benefit Trust, giving each a keen interest in the future of the business.
royal warrant • family farming • multiple awards
Tiptree's farm is LEAF Marque accredited (Linking Environment And Farming), recognising that they work sympathetically with our environment and encourage links with our local community. Fruit crops include strawberries, raspberries, mulberries, Morello cherries, rhubarb, damson, Victoria plum, greengage, quince, and the curious medlar. Where they cannot grow our own crops, they buy the best quality fruit from trusted sources, such as Seville for our marmalade oranges. Their signature fruit is the Little Scarlet strawberry, a tiny wild variety, that is very difficult to grow and to harvest. Tiptree believe that they are unique in the world in growing this remarkable crop, but it is worth it for the depth of flavour that it provides.
Their products are made to cherished recipes and are free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. They inspect and prepare our fruit by hand then cook in small batches using traditional, copper-bottomed pans. As well as their jam factory, they also have an artisan bakery and a steamed pudding factory. They supply an extensive range of conserves, marmalades, honeys, sauces, condiments, fresh fruit, teas, cakes, biscuits, fruit juices, gift packs, Christmas puddings, and even natural wax candles. Their products can be found in over sixty countries across the world, and are available in fine retailers, premium hotels and quality airlines. At Wilkin & Sons, looking after the environment has always been one of their core principles.
They have an extensive waste management programme on site, helping us to recycle over 89% of our waste, and they have recently invested in a number of energy efficiency projects. They are always looking to improve how they do things. Water is a very precious, and increasingly scarce, resource in Essex. Over the last two decades they have moved away from inefficient rain guns and into drip feeding systems for all their crops, reducing their water usage by 80%. They also clean waste water from the jam factory and use it for irrigation. Their latest investment in technology, the Tiptree New Growing System, captures almost all of the rain that falls on the crop, allowing them to recover over 90% of the water used in the growing process.