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Providing Charrington Fruit Farms with onsite accommodation for seasonal workers

Charrington Fruit Farms is an independent business in Kent, providing fresh fruit and orchard management from its 120-acre private estate in Tonbridge, as well as storage and rented accommodation services. The company is highly dependent on seasonal labour at harvest time - which means a regular need for onsite accommodation to house these workers.

The owners of Charrington Fruit Farm are dedicated to providing their seasonal staff with good-quality accommodation, and made the decision in 2014 to move away from larger caravans and dormitories to more personal accommodation, with en-suite facilities seen as a top priority.

The aim was to find an accommodation solution that could be deployed quickly and safely, while exceeding industry standards of electrical, fire and structural safety and providing a comfortable living environment. Bunkabin was hired for the job, and the results were so impressive that we’ve worked with them every year since.

HOW BUNKABIN HELPED

We supplied Triple Sleeper units, growing from an initial order of:

  • 3 Triple Junior Sleepers

Up to:

  • 12 Triple Junior Sleepers
  • 4 Junior Diners

HOW WE DID IT

Charrington Fruit Farms was looking for robust, low-maintenance accommodation that provided creature comforts such as en-suite bathrooms with towel rails, comfortable beds, good ventilation, efficient heating and easy cleaning. They also wanted them to take up as little room as possible, while still having the relevant water, waste and electrical services be easily connected, and for them to be modular and easily expandable.

The company hired Bunkabin based on a recommendation from a leading British broadcaster, who had been using our cabins to accommodate sound engineers at various music festivals. This gave Charrington Fruit Farms confidence that we would be able to provide the practical, high-quality solution they were after.

Bunkabin provided the farm with three-bed sleeper cabins, selected for their small and versatile design, and the privacy and security they offered to staff. One key concern for the farm was that any accommodation would need to be installed without hitting the existing buildings, or causing any damage to infrastructure - something we are able to achieve through careful placement and clear communication with our drivers.

By taking care in getting the cabins connected to the mains water, waste and electricity networks, we were able to make it easy for Charrington Fruit Farms to get the cabins reinstalled in the exact same location each year. We also spent time providing the farm with all of the relevant paperwork to ensure the accommodation was safe and ready to receive staff.

THE RESULT

Charrington Fruit Farms was so pleased with the quality of our cabins that it has continued to rely on Bunkabin for its harvest season labour accommodation since, adding some of our high-quality, robust kitchen units to its order the very next year.

The company has come to trust the Bunkabin team for the skill of our Hiab drivers in expertly positioning the cabins in the same place each year, as well as for the high level of no-fuss service we provide both in the office and on-site. Company owner Alex Charrington gave special praise to the tins of biscuits we provide as a complementary service, noting that this has played an important role in helping his workers to break the ice and bond at the start of each harvest season!

Mr Charrington said: “Our staff often arrive on the farm at all times of the day and night, having often travelled from a foreign country and a long journey - it's important to have a comfortable bed and cosy cabin to settle in, with everything working from the start.

“We were expecting to have to be maintaining these cabins while on site, but the reality is that they rarely go wrong and if you have even a leaking tap, Bunkabin’s repair team is out often the same day, without any fuss. Returning the cabins is equally easy.

“They are an important extension of our harvest team now. We've also had some terrible weather over the years, and you always wonder whether the cabins will cope with the elements, but they have withstood all the elements over the years with complete ease.”

ARE YOU IN A SIMILAR SITUATION?

If you require on-site accommodation or facilities for seasonal agriculture work or any other purpose, Bunkabin is here to help - no problem is too big for us. Get in touch by calling 0345 456 7899, click on the ‘Get a Quick Quote’ button, or fill in our online contact form today.

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