United Kingdom

Taylors Bulbs, Holbeach, UK

About the business

Started in

1919

Livestock

-

Personnel

65 employees working in flower and bulb production.

12 full-time employees in the agricultural business.

250–300 casual workers during the flower harvest.

Area under cultivation

800 hectares, including

170 ha bulbs and flowers

220 ha wheat

90 ha potatoes

90 ha sugarbeet

200 ha vegetables

30 ha grass and stubble

Crop rotation

Bulbs, bulbs, vegetables, potatoes, wheat, vegetables, wheat, sugarbeet, wheat, vegetables, wheat

Soil type

Alluvial silt

Annual precipitation

400–450 mm per annum

In wet years, up to 700 mm

Machinery

4 ARES 656 (to be replaced by 4 ARION 530 in March 2015)

3 ARION 520

1 ARION 640

1 ARION 630

1 AXION 950 (demonstration machine)

"I just like being outdoors and I’m my own boss."

 

What Sam Taylor likes best is to be out in the fields. “I just like being outdoors and I’m my own boss. Not many people have that opportunity,” he says. That’s one reason why he is happy with his decision to take over the business, despite all the outside scepticism he faced at the start. And he has a clear goal: “In England we like to say: ‘The first generation starts the business, the second builds the business and the third ruins it’ – but things are quite different at Taylor’s, we are number four,” he adds with a laugh. It is his wish that the fifth generation will still be running the business.

 

To ensure this will be possible, the cousins have two priorities: satisfied employees and high-quality products. “Our people are the most important thing for us. Without them, we would have no harvest to sell.” So Sam Taylor is convinced that it is his and his cousin’s job to ensure that they are happy at the company. They rely on a policy of promotion and development, which includes the programme “Investors in People” (IIP), whose quality standards Taylor’s Bulbs are consistently implementing, and to which the business is accredited every two years.

"The drivers have to feel comfortable. That’s their office, their office is their tractor, these guys are in them all day."

 

In order to meet the diverse and sometimes specialised needs of the business, reliable, top-quality machines are needed. “The drivers have to feel comfortable. That’s their office, their office is their tractor, these guys are in them all day. We harvest 11 months of the year here,” Sam Taylor says. He replaced most of the machines shortly after taking over the business. Originally, his team had opted for Renault tractors. “We were no longer happy with our earlier supplier, so I asked our people what they would like to try out, and they wanted Renault. But then CLAAS bought Renault, and we have stuck with CLAAS tractors ever since. The main reasons are because my people like working with them and dealer backup is really really important. If something breaks we really need it to be fixed fast,” he describes his criteria.

 

Quality is also top priority for the cousins when it comes to the products that leave the yard. “You tend to buy something of poor quality once, and then never again. For us, when it comes to the harvest, the quality is more important than the quantity,” he adds. This also applies in terms of his vision for the future: “I’m not after the maximum possible return, by ruining the farm. Instead, I want to ensure that everyone can earn a good living here, and that we leave the land in as good condition as we got it. That way, we can pass on the farm to the fifth generation so they can make a living too.”


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