By carolemetcalfe

Tong celebrates 85th Anniversary

Tong Potato Sorter Grader

Tong Engineering is celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2015.

The family run business, which has a turnover of around £13 million per year and exports to more than 20 countries worldwide, is entering 2015 with an upgraded model of its flagship Caretaker Mobile Grader, which was originally launched back in 1980s.

The Spilsby based company that employs over 140 people started on a more modest scale with an ironmongers shop in the town run by Edmund Jackson Tong and sons Ken and Geoff. During the 1930’s the company diversified into making simple equipment for local farmers. As this side of the business flourished it became independent from the ironmongers and moved into bigger premises, where the company is still based today!

More expansion followed in the 1980’s under the influence of Ken Tong’s son Charles who still runs the company. He realised that increased specialisation in potato production plus changes in the way the crop is marketed were creating demand for more sophisticated machinery with a bigger capacity for crop.

This demand resulted in the launch of the Caretaker, which is still one of the company’s best-selling machines. The machine was developed to offer the extra throughput required by packhouses to meet the demands of supermarkets and larger farmers and packers for a higher specification with minimal damage. The newly launched Caretaker model for 2015 incorporates the latest technology and includes a host of new features including the new second generation EasyClean II separator and advanced HMI touch screen Pro-Series control.

Charles says, “I’m extremely proud that Tong has reached this landmark anniversary. A major key to our longevity is ensuring we are meeting the changing needs of the agricultural industry, providing the right machinery for the right jobs at the right time. Our investment in research and development and team of expert engineers has allowed us to create market leading equipment that incorporates the latest technology to ensure our products improve efficiency and throughput for our customers.”

Charles Tong’s son Edward joined the company in 2003 and will be taking over as the new Managing Director later this year. Edward helped lead the expansion of the company in 2004 with the take-over of Engineering, which bought the trading name change to Tong.

Tong’s agricultural product range has diversified significantly and it now offers an extensive range of products for grading, handling, washing, polishing, weighing, tipping, filling and conveying a wide variety of crop.

The company has also expanded into the waste management market, providing conveying and sorting equipment for major recycling customers including NEXT and the Lindum Group.

Charles continues “We have many loyal customers and generations of families who have come to Tong with all their equipment needs, which is testimony to the high quality products and customer service we provide. We’d like to thank them all for their continued support and wish them all a successful 2015.”

Tong will be organising activities throughout 2015 to celebrate this landmark anniversary.