Intercrop Ltd is a major producer of small leaf salad and herbs on a 860 acre farm, situated in the picturesque coastal fields of Deal, Kent. Intercrop Ltd was launched from the sale of Kent Salads in 1991 and grows around 30 different crops but specialises in baby leaf spinach. They are a key supplier for one of the UK’s leading supermarket chains. The farm has around 32 full time staff but employs a further 70 seasonal workers at the height of the season.
The crops are subjected to the unpredictable English weather, therefore irrigation and cropping of the salads and herbs are crucial. Creating and providing a communicative environment for the workforce is essential. The workers are separated into various groups with some being tractor- based or vehicle drivers, and with others being manual handling operatives. It is crucial that the office stay in constant communication with all team members. In previous times the company encountered situations where team members working in areas of the farmland alone needed to be monitored for their wellbeing. The farm manager contacted Smye Rumsby Ltd to develop a communications system that could cover all aspects of the challenge.
Smye-Rumsby organised an on-site visit to the farm to carry out a communications coverage survey to ascertain what radio equipment would best serve each workforce group. A repeater base station was needed and desk mounted in the offices, and a pole mounted Omni antenna on highest part of the farm buildings to give coverage to the furthest reaches of Intercrop’s boundaries. The tractors and farm utility vehicles posed different challenges with some operatives leaving their vehicles for long periods, so hand portables were used with mag mounted antenna adapters for use inside the tractors and four by fours, and a normal VHF antenna when outside on the land, where the other group of vehicle based drivers opted for a fixed mobile with fist mic holder. The last group of land workers was supplied with handheld radios with belt clip fittings, with a lone worker feature programmed into the radios.
With the system now fully operational, full radio coverage is obtained on the farm grounds with the added benefits of self response lone worker monitoring, critical Operational decisions can be made with all of the workforce from any radio operator. Intercrop are now moving into the digital radio platform with there recent purchases of HYTERA MD655G migratory GPS tracking fixed mobiles with there added background noise cancelation and two digital voice paths per channel.
"Thank you for your servicing support since 2013. As we run 32 CB radios via a base station, it is essential that we use a local company who can service and repair our radios quickly and efficiently without additional charges. New parts are competitively priced and our radios always arrive correctly programmed and well maintained. The farming environment dictates the need for efficient communication between staff at all times. With over 50 company vehicles it is the only way we can communicate safely whilst driving and operating equipment. Smye-Rumsby Ltd offer a good repair service with experienced engineers on-hand at all times if advice is required. We currently have an analogue system but Mike Syrett, our Account Manager at Smye-Rumsby, is helping us migrate to digital radios by supplying dual-band equipment. Mike has also offered us invaluable advice regarding coverage, and has supplied us with digital handsets to explore future requirements for improving coverage and modernising equipment. For any company looking for a radio communications solution, I would not hesitate to recommend Smye-Rumsby Ltd, Dover.
Justin Stock, Operations Manager Intercrop Ltd"