Master Farms is the company name for the Le Maistre family business which has been growing in the south-east corner of Jersey since 1841. It has evolved from the original family farm based at Les Pres Manor and founded by Charles Alan Le Maistre; it is now owned and managed by Peter and Philip Le Maistre and Philip’s son, Philip.
The farm consists of around 900 vergees, (Just over 160 hectares) growing a wide range of crops. As with all businesses change has been inevitable. The farm concentrated on cider orchards in the 19th century, outdoor tomatoes and Jersey Royals in the 20th century and organic vegetables in the 21st century. The one constant feature of the farm over the past 160 years has been the Jersey cow. Master Farms has a herd based at Westlands Farm in St Brelade and the herd at Les Pres Manor is managed by Peter and Philips’ nephew John. The cows play a fundamental role in the organic production cycle and at the present time the range of crops produced organically includes Potatoes, Courgettes, Broad Beans and Cauliflower.
The marketing side of the business, Jersey Quality Produce LTD, is run by Peter’s son Matthew and Bob Pallot. JQP is fully owned by Master Farms and markets the produce from the farm as well as produce from six other growers in the Island.
The Le Maistre family are confident that Jersey’s geographical position will give them the necessary advantages to compete in the organic markets successfully. Jersey lies 100 miles south of the U.K. and just 14 miles off the coast of Normandy in the Bay of St Malo. It regularly enjoys the highest recorded annual sunshine hours in the British Iles and because of its position in the Gulf Stream also enjoys mild winters. The soil on the island is of excellent quality with good drainage.
This combination gives the Jersey grower an ideal platform to produce safe sustainable crops of good quality and flavour over a long growing season.