031 – From Farmer to Food Entrepreneur with Pete Thompson from Cotchel and Reliquum
Pete Thompson is a farmer with a huge entrepreneurial streak. His family farm in Essex (which has been operating since 1948), produces a whole range of interesting crops for Asian food service up and down the country. They also take on a number of innovation projects as well as growing a range of fruit crops in small pockets of space, dotted around the farm.
Pete is always on the lookout for new projects that increase revenue whilst reducing waste. They’ve turned surplus apples and pears into juice. They’ve created fruit gins from plums and apricots and have a number of other secret projects underway. Listen to Pete’s story and be inspired to find opportunities from everything around you.
In this episode you’ll learn
- The difference between farming and building a brand
- What pollinator trees are and why they produce fruit that’s surplus to requirements
- Why retailers food waste figures get better and better while farmers and consumers appear to get worse and worse
- How to see opportunities from everything around you
- Why some of the old ideas are still some of the best ideas
- The importance of storytelling – from farm to product
- The challenges of moving from pure farming to running a portfolio of brands