SOPA Board Member Q&A – Angus Elder, Chapel Organics

Angus Elder (right) with his father Graeme Elder and fellow SOPA member Andy Cadzow at SOPA’s Wake Up To Organic in 2018.

Name: Angus Elder

Age: 25

What is your business called? T.G. & T.A. Partners (Chapel Organics)

Where are you based? 3 miles south of North Berwick, East Lothian

What products/services do you offer? Organic vegetables, potatoes, cereals and beans

Who are your customers? Organic veg box schemes and wholesalers for vegetables and a selection of packers across the UK and NI

How many employees? 3 full time, 4 seasonal

When was your business formed? 1952 when my grandfather bought the farm

Why did you make the change to organic? Declining commodity prices, a dependence on third parties for our own income (fertiliser, sprays etc)

How long have you been a SOPA member? I joined the business fully in 2012 and the business began converting or organic in 2001

What were you doing before you took the plunge? Conventional cereals and processing potatoes as well as small areas of vegetables

What was your biggest break? Being brought into the business at the age of 18

What was your worst moment? Moving fertiliser on a conventional farm and a bag burst and spilled all over the road- it was a big clean up job!

What do you enjoy most about your organic business? Understanding how nature and the soil work and how we can manipulate it for our own needs

What are the difficulties in running your organic business? Weed control is our biggest issue, as well as dealing with nature

What is your biggest bugbear? Littering, and packed lunches at harvest

What single thing would help the most? A regimented weather pattern!

What is your top tip for someone new to the organic sector? The soil is your biggest asset. Look after it and a healthy soil will give healthy food

Tell us an interesting fact about you or your business that not many people will know: We grow 23 different crops within our 600 acres and harvest 18 of them

How do you relax? Rugby, skiing and golf- in that order

You can keep up to date with Angus and the team at Chapel Organics on Twitter.

Twitter: @chapel_organics

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