Double celebration for Haith and potato grower/packer R S Cockerill

Published: August 20, 2021

The installation of four new potato grading lines was recently completed at R S Cockerill's site in Dunnington.
The installation of four new potato grading lines by Haith was recently completed at R S Cockerill’s site in Dunnington.

This month manufacturing company Haith and potato grower and packer R S Cockerill have not just one but two reasons for celebration.

As a £3m investment into the Yorkshire potato grower and packer’s site in Dunnington, near York, has just been completed, this August also marks 21 years of cooperation between Haith and R S Cockerill.

Four grading lines
This recently fulfilled project, the installation of four new grading lines, has partly been funded by a EU Productivity Grant. Each of the new lines features a Haith rota-tip box tippler, washer and destoner, polisher and direct drive dryers. Haith also integrated Key Oculus optical sorters, Newtec 4015 weighers, GIC vertical form fill and seal packaging machines, and LAN robots at the end of the line. It is the 42nd order that R S Cockerill has awarded to Haith.

Amazing technological advances
‘Our relationship dates back to the year 2000, when Martin Cockerill placed an order for our first grading line. Things have changed a lot in 21 years, with some amazing advances in technology, but one thing has remained the same, and that is, at the end of the day, people buy from people, and we still get along with everyone at Haith exceptionally well. They deliver what they say they will and are always open and honest, which we appreciate,’ says Rufus Pilgrim, Managing Director at R S Cockerill.

Rufus and Duane

R S Cockerill Managing Director Rufus Pilgrim (L) and Duane Hill, Sales Director for Haith (R).

Considerable growth
R S Cockerill was established in the 1930s by Ronald S. Cockerill, who grew carrots on a rented plot. Potato and carrot trading operations developed alongside farming activities following the acquisition of a farm tenancy near York. Martin Cockerill, the present chairman and son of the founder, joined the company in 1967. Since then, he has overseen the development of an agro-chemical distribution and aerial crop spraying service alongside the fresh potato pre-pack business, which serves retail multiples and wholesalers. The company started supplying potatoes on contract to Tudor Crisps, later becoming Smiths Crisps and then Walkers, which is still a major customer today. Over the last 21 years, both Haith and Cockerill’s have grown considerably. ‘It is very satisfying to see that both companies have continued to grow in the years that we have worked together,’ says Duane Hill, Sales Director for Haith. ‘We are very grateful to Martin Cockerill’s continued loyalty to Haith, and we like to think that our machines have played a part in their continued success’, he added.

As a £3m investment into the Yorkshire potato grower and packer’s site in Dunnington, near York, has just been completed, this August also marks 21 years of cooperation between Haith and R S Cockerill.