Tom Avery - The Watercress Company

watercress Watercress is an ideal plant to grow organically. Grown in gravel beds and fed by spring water, the difference in organic watercress is the type of fertiliser used on the plants.

Tom Avery is managing director of the Organic Watercress Company which has been growing it organically since 1999.

“The organic side started off as a small enterprise – we produced a few hundred kilos a week. Now it’s a large part of our business,” says Tom.

“For Riverford we are hand bagging the crop here at the farm. We cut it, bag it and ship it out on the same day. Some weeks we do several thousand bags – we did 7,000 one week. It depends on whether it goes into all the boxes of just some of them, or whether it’s on special offer as an additional product.”

The company doesn’t have any fancy bag machines: people bag up the bunches. We do other bagged products for hotels and restaurants too.

"We discuss the order with Riverford on a Wednesday or Thursday for starting the following Sunday, so we have a bit of time to get it planned and organised."