Prince Charles ‘will not renew lease’ on 900-acre ‘Duchy Originals’ farm after 35 years

Prince Charles is not renewing the lease on one of the farms that supplies his luxury ‘Waitrose Duchy Organic’ food brand to upmarket supermarkets Waitrose and Ocado.  

The 71-year-old royal, who founded the popular high-end brand as Duchy Organics 35 years ago, will not continue the lease on Home Farm, on the Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire, when it runs out in April.  

However it will not interrupt the production of Waitrose Duchy Organic products, which will continue to be produced on the land by the next leaseholder of Home Farm. Waitrose Duchy Organic also has partnerships with farmers across the UK and around the world. 

Charles will continue to run his organic farm on the Sandringham estate, which he manages on behalf of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.   

New focus? Prince Charles is expected to end his 35-year tenancy at Home Farm in Highgrove, Gloucestershire (pictured above), when the lease comes up for renewal next April. The Prince started organic farming there in 1985 and it was among the first UK farms to go fully organic

New focus? Prince Charles is expected to end his 35-year tenancy at Home Farm in Highgrove, Gloucestershire (pictured above), when the lease comes up for renewal next April. The Prince started organic farming there in 1985 and it was among the first UK farms to go fully organic

Prince Charles has worked with Home Farm, on the Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire for 35 years and it has long supplied his popular food brand. The Waitrose Duchy Organic brand, currently sold by Waitrose in a £3million-a-year deal, will not be affected by the Prince's decision

Prince Charles has worked with Home Farm, on the Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire for 35 years and it has long supplied his popular food brand. The Waitrose Duchy Organic brand, currently sold by Waitrose in a £3million-a-year deal, will not be affected by the Prince’s decision 

The Waitrose Duchy Organic brand, previously known as Duchy Originals, has hundreds of products sourced from organic farms across the UK and globally, including the Home Farm site at Highgrove in Gloucestershire (Pictured: Duchy Originals organic Welsh lamb leg steaks)

The Waitrose Duchy Organic brand, previously known as Duchy Originals, has hundreds of products sourced from organic farms across the UK and globally, including the Home Farm site at Highgrove in Gloucestershire (Pictured: Duchy Originals organic Welsh lamb leg steaks)

Prince Charles popular high-end food brand started life as Duchy Originals but is now known as Waitrose Duchy Organic

A preserve featured in the current range sold by Waitrose

Prince Charles popular high-end food brand started life as Duchy Originals but is now known as Waitrose Duchy Organic. Pictured left: a pasty sold under the brand’s former name Duchy Originals. Right: A preserve featured in the current range sold by Waitrose 

The brand started by Prince Charles in 1985 will not be affected by the decision to no longer lease Home Farm (Pictured: The Queen browsing then Duchy Originals products on sale at a  Waitrose in Dorset, back in 2016)

The brand started by Prince Charles in 1985 will not be affected by the decision to no longer lease Home Farm (Pictured: The Queen browsing then Duchy Originals products on sale at a  Waitrose in Dorset, back in 2016)

Waitrose has a £3million-a-year contract to sell Waitrose Duchy Organic products. Set up by Prince Charles in 1990, the brand remains a separate entity to the Duchy of Cornwall despite the similarities in name. 

In 2018, the prince’s charitable foundation earned £3.2million from profits made by the company, which has grown to become the UK’s largest own-label organic food and drink brand.

The brand also sells to small independent shops and is wide-ranging in its offering, selling everything from luxury Cornish pasties to regional ales, cheeses and organic meat. Products are sourced from a wide range of UK farms and also from across the globe, including fruits that are flown in from as far away as New Zealand.  

A Clarence House spokesman told MailOnline: ‘The Prince of Wales will not be renewing his lease on Home Farm, but will continue to farm organically at Sandringham.’   

Home Farm was very much a pioneer in organic farming, with Prince Charles making the Gloucestershire estate 100 per cent organic long before many of his farming peers. 

Prince Charles’ charities net over £3million from Duchy Originals produce – while Waitrose coins in £200 million a year 

According to the Waitrose website, which lists over 200 products, bananas are the third best selling Waitrose Duchy Organic product

According to the Waitrose website, which lists over 200 products, bananas are the third best selling Waitrose Duchy Organic product

Duchy Originals – now known as Waitrose Duchy Organic – is an organic food brand set up by Prince Charles in 1990, and is a separate entity to the Duchy of Cornwall.

It is the UK’s largest own-label organic food and drink brand, and sales from it provide a donation to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, supporting social and environmental causes across the UK. 

In 2018, the prince’s charitable foundation earned £3.2million from his Duchy Originals line of organic groceries.

The earnings came from royalties paid by Waitrose for exclusive rights to the Duchy Originals brand, which began when the Prince of Wales started selling oat biscuits made from wheat and oat grown on his Highgrove estate in Gloucester 30 years ago.

The supermarket now sells over £200 million a year of approximately 300 Waitrose Duchy Organise products. These include fruit, vegetables, biscuits and meat including lamb and salmon.

Despite Charles being an avid supporter of home-grown produce, some of the range is imported by the supermarket from abroad.

The groceries come from as far afield as New Zealand and include everything from carrots and potatoes to apples and parsnips.

Waitrose Duchy Organic range has grown to become the UK’s largest own-label organic food and drink brand with 24% of the current UK market share

Waitrose Duchy Organic range has grown to become the UK’s largest own-label organic food and drink brand with 24% of the current UK market share

According to the Waitrose website, which lists over 200 products, bananas are the third best selling Waitrose Duchy Organic product, which are sold in a compostable bag and originate from the Dominican Republic and Peru.

Duchy Organic berries, including blueberries, are another top selling Waitrose Duchy Organic product.   

Waitrose Duchy Organic range has grown to become the UK’s largest own-label organic food and drink brand with 24% of the current UK market share.

Waitrose has held the exclusive Duchy Originals licensing agreement since 2009. Sales of Waitrose Duchy Organic products provide a donation to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund with over £23.5 million raised for good causes over the past decade alone.

The current range of Waitrose Duchy Organic has grown to over 380 products, from bacon to fresh fruit and vegetables to beer.

The brand is also popular overseas with products exported to over 30 countries worldwide.

All Waitrose Duchy Organic packaging will be widely-recycled, reusable or home compostable by 2023.

Duchy Organic berries, including blueberries, are another top selling Waitrose Duchy Organic product

Duchy Organic berries, including blueberries, are another top selling Waitrose Duchy Organic product

WHERE DO THE DUCHY ORIGINALS PRODUCTS COME FROM?

Waitrose Duchy Organic carrots 

Origin: France, Germany, Israel, Italy (incl Vatican City), Spain (incl Canary & Balearic Is.), United Kingdom

Waitrose Duchy Organic Gala apples 

Origin: Argentina, Italy (incl Vatican City), New Zealand (incl Chatham Island), United Kingdom, USA

Waitrose Duchy Organic cherry vine tomatoes 

Origin: United Kingdom, Portugal (incl Azores & Madeira)

Waitrose Duchy Organic pears 

Origin: Argentina, Italy (incl Vatican City), New Zealand (incl Chatham Island), United Kingdom

Waitrose Duchy Organic cherry vine tomatoes  

Origin: United Kingdom, Portugal (incl Azores & Madeira)

Waitrose Duchy Organic celery

Origin: Spain (incl Canary & Balearic Is.), United Kingdom, USA

Waitrose Duchy Organic sweet potatoes

Origin: Egypt, Israel, USA

Waitrose Duchy Organic garlic

Origin: Argentina, Spain (incl Canary & Balearic Is.)

Waitrose Duchy Organic ridge cucumber

Origin: Belgium, Egypt, Israel, Italy (incl Vatican City), Morocco, Spain (incl Canary & Balearic Is.), United Kingdom

Waitrose Duchy Organic onions

Origin: United Kingdom, Spain (incl Canary & Balearic Is.), New Zealand (incl Chatham Island), Holland, Germany, Egypt, Chile, Austria, Argentina

Waitrose Duchy Organic courgettes

Origin: Spain (incl Canary & Balearic Is.), Morocco, United Kingdom

Waitrose Duchy Organic red cabbage

Origin: Italy (incl Vatican City), Spain (incl Canary & Balearic Is.), United Kingdom

Waitrose Duchy Organic parsnips

Origin: Israel, Spain(incl Canary & Balearic Is.), United Kingdom. 

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Charles will continue to run his organic farm on the Sandringham estate, which he manages on behalf of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Pictured, Sandringham

Charles will continue to run his organic farm on the Sandringham estate, which he manages on behalf of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Pictured, Sandringham  

The brand stays true to Charles vision that farming shouldn't use pesticides; the Prince sources products from as far away as New Zealand (Pictured: aWaitrose Duchy Organic hamper)

The brand stays true to Charles vision that farming shouldn’t use pesticides; the Prince sources products from as far away as New Zealand (Pictured: aWaitrose Duchy Organic hamper)

Sandringham plans: The Prince's submitted plans to the King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough council for a 500-strong organic cattle herd in Norfolk (Pictured: The planned area to be converted)

Sandringham plans: The Prince’s submitted plans to the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough council for a 500-strong organic cattle herd in Norfolk (Pictured: The planned area to be converted)

The practices employed by his staff there are said to ‘epitomise’ his belief in farming methods that don’t use pesticides, with planting seeds said to be done in time with the lunar cycle.

Describing his farming beliefs on Home Farm, Charles previously told National Geographic: ‘In farming, as in gardening, I happen to believe that if you treat the land with love and respect then it will repay you in kind.’

As patron of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, he has been keen to ensure the farm plays its part in preserving the gene pool of British pigs, sheep and cattle.

Home Farm has previously welcomed Tamworth pigs, Irish Moiled pigs, Gloucester, Shetland and British White cattle, as well as Hebridean and Shropshire sheep. 

The royal estate has also applied for permission to build a large shed - but locals have raised concerns about the smell that could be caused by such a large number of cattle

The royal estate has also applied for permission to build a large shed – but locals have raised concerns about the smell that could be caused by such a large number of cattle

End of an era? Home Farm has also been at the centre of preserving British breeds such as the Tamworth pig, pictured

End of an era? Home Farm has also been at the centre of preserving British breeds such as the Tamworth pig, pictured

His plans for re-developing Sandringham have previously run into trouble, after he became locked in battle with locals over a scheme for a 500-strong organic cattle herd. The royal estate had applied for a large shed measuring 315ft by 98ft.

Backing the scheme in May this year, they said: ‘The production of organically, grass-fed high-quality beef from local heritage breeds represents an enhancement of the heritage, cultural and environmental assets of West Norfolk.

‘With the estate going into full organic production across all its enterprises the need for a good source of farmyard manure to maintain soil fertility means that the estate is farming more sustainably and further enhances the environmental assets of the borough.’ 

Sales of Waitrose Duchy Organic products provide a donation to The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund, with over £23.5 million raised for good causes over the past decade alone

Sales of Waitrose Duchy Organic products provide a donation to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, with over £23.5 million raised for good causes over the past decade alone

As the brand originally looked before a lucrative agreement with Waitrose in 2009 changed the name to Waitrose Duchy Organic

As the brand originally looked before a lucrative agreement with Waitrose in 2009 changed the name to Waitrose Duchy Organic

The Waitrose Duchy Organic range has grown to become the UK’s largest own-label organic food and drink brand with 24% of the current UK market share.

Waitrose has held the exclusive Duchy Originals licensing agreement since 2009. 

Sales of Waitrose Duchy Organic products provide a donation to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund with over £23.5 million raised for good causes over the past decade alone.

The current range of Waitrose Duchy Organic has grown to over 380 products, from bacon to fresh fruit and vegetables to beer.

The brand is also popular overseas with products exported to over 30 countries worldwide.

All Waitrose Duchy Organic packaging will be widely-recycled, reusable or home compostable by 2023.

The future King and his son Prince William carried out the most duties of any royal since the start of lockdown in March. Charles led the way with 69 commitments through phone calls, video conferences and in-person engagements, followed by Prince William with 54 official duties. 

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