Manningtree-based D C Williamson and Barn Farm Drinks, an innovative berry farm and fruit juice producer, has achieved highest the rating possible of a stringent new food safety standard audit.

The business retained its AA grade rating of the tough new Issue 8 of the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety for the fourth year running following a two-day inspection in April.

The rigorous new edition of the BRC Global Standard has only been in force since February and provides a framework to manage product safety, integrity, legality and quality in food and food ingredient manufacturing, processing and packing. The standards act as a food safety benchmark for major retailers and are the most widely used food safety standards in the world.

Commenting on the results of their latest audit, Craig Williamson, managing director of Barn Farm Drinks, said: “We’re delighted to have retained our AA grade rating for the BRC Global Standard of Food. The audits are always rigorous, even more so this year with the introduction of the new Issue 8, but we are thrilled with the results. Achieving the highest rating possible for four years in a row is no mean feat and thanks must go to the team – it is a testament to their hard work and dedication; we couldn’t do it without them.

“For us achieving the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is critical; it means large retailers can be reassured that our berries and fruit juices are produced to the highest hygiene, quality and safety standards.

“At D C Williamson and Barn Farm Drinks we operate to three key values. They are Natural – our juices are 100% fruit juice with no added sugar; Local – we only use fruit which we grow ourselves or is grown locally; and Kind – we work hard to minimise our environmental impact, and I’m very proud that we’re able to operate to such a high standard while staying true to our values and roots.”

D C Williamson was founded in 2000 by husband and wife team, Craig and Gail Williamson. Located at Barn Farm just outside of Manningtree, the company specialises in soft fruit, stem fruit and bush fruit farming, providing both fresh and frozen fruit to retailers.

They also produce Barn Farm Drinks – a range of five fruit juices which are pressed and bottled on site at Barn Farm, using berries which are grown directly on the farm in fields overlooking the River Stour. Barn Farm Drinks launched just 18 months ago and have achieved great success across East Anglia, achieving listings in more than 190 locations including more than 90 East of England Co-op stores, along with a number of farm shops, independent retailers, pubs and cafés.