Grown in England Norfolk Saffron 1

Norfolk Saffron





100% UK

  • Juice, Cider, Wine and Drinks etc
  • Unusual Crops
  • Liqueur
  • Saffron
  • Saffron Products







Norfolk Saffron grow the world’s most precious spice within sight and sound of the sea at our family’s North Norfolk smallholding. Norfolk Saffron consists of the rich, deep red stigmas from the current season’s flower crop, so it’s wonderfully fresh and potent.

AWARD-WINNING, with a unique provenance and superlative quality, Norfolk Saffron conforms to ISO 3632 category I – the top international grade for saffron – and it has oustanding colouring strength and flavour.

YOU ONLY need the tiniest amount of our exceptional saffron to colour and flavour your food because a little Norfolk Saffron goes a very long way! It’s perfect for all the classics like Cornish Saffron Cake, Bouillabaisse and Risotto alla Milanese.You can use it in a wide range of other sweet and savoury dishes too.

AS WELL as being saffron growers, we also make innovative and delicious products you won’t find produced anywhere else: 3-gold-star award-winning ‘King Harry’ orange & saffron liqueur, Smoked Saffron and Saffron Flour.



About our Saffron

Norfolk Saffron, England’s leading commercial saffron producer, is based in Norfolk near Burnham Market, and run by Dr Sally Francis, an Oxford-educated botanist born and bred in Norfolk. Sally is helped by her family during busy periods in the year, especially by her mother Jill – probably the most experienced saffron picker in England!

The HQ is our smallholding and it’s been in the family since 1934. We started growing saffron when Jill bought 20 saffron corms for Sally’s birthday present in 1997. 

Our stock of plants multiplied up over the years. By 2009 there was too much saffron to use ourselves so we took some to a market – and were astounded by the enthusiastic response. Sally used her expertise in ‘alternative crops’ and the farming skills of her beloved late father, Edward, to take things forward, and with the help of RDPE funding, Norfolk Saffron was born. A few years on we have many awards under our belt, and are really proud to have been selected by the Government as a “Food Star”, one of the nation’s 50 most innovative food and drink businesses.

Although Norfolk and saffron are two words that aren’t normally associated with each other, we discovered that saffron was once very important locally – and it had a reputation for excellent quality too. Huge amounts were exported from north Norfolk ports in a lucrative trade to the Low Countries. We now have 20-years’ worth of hard-won experience in saffron production and are very proud to be the first to offer Norfolk-grown saffron for sale again. We put masses of TLC into every gram of Norfolk Saffron, all so you can enjoy saffron at its very best.



Norfolk Saffron and the Environment
Norfolk Saffron’s HQ is set in the heart of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on the edge of marshland of national conservation importance. It’s a privilege to see barn owls, hares, marsh harriers and other rare species regularly, so protecting our wonderful environment is extremely important to us.

Our smallholding is too small to enter into Countryside Stewardship Schemes like SFI (or to be in receipt of farm subsidies) but that doesn’t stop us from doing our bit.

We don’t use herbicides, fungicides or pesticides on our saffron. We look after our soil carefully, building up and maintaining fertility whilst preventing compaction and erosion. The saffron is grown in crop rotation, which makes it sustainable.

Spring 2013 saw us secure a grant from the local Sustainable Development Fund for buying seed-sowing equipment. Alongside the saffron, we are growing ‘pollen & nectar mixes’ to help bumblebees and other insects. In addition, our smallholding is home to rare plants like bee orchids, night-flowering catchfly and a blue form of scarlet pimpernel.

In 2015 we had the first of our hedges professionally laid. This not only supports a traditional skill and another rural business, but it will make the hedge thicker and more long-lived, with all the new re-growth coming from the base. Every time you buy Norfolk Saffron, you’re contributing to the ongoing costs of our conservation work.

When it comes to packaging Norfolk Saffron, we aim to be as green as possible. We use recyclable glass jars rather than the usual plastic boxes. Since autumn 2012 all our orders have used a biodegradable “void packing” rather than bubblewrap or foam chips. We swapped brown plastic parcel tape for a biodegradable paper alternative years ago.

In 2015, Norfolk Saffron was selected as one of East Anglia’s greenest businesses, being one of the Green100 scheme.

An exciting new development from 2017 is that we have started making deliveries of saffron by sail using traditional East Anglian wooden vessels – a truly carbon neutral means of shipping orders. So far cargoes have been sent on the 1950s whelker Salford with Henry Chamberlain of the Coastal Exploration Company, and on the 1921 Lowestoft fishing smack Excelsior with the Coriolis Trading Company. We can even walk from our smallholding to a nearby tidal creek and rendezvous with a sailing boat!

In early 2023 we secured a grant from the Farming in a Protected Landscape scheme which helped fund equipment to manage various non-saffron aspects of our smallholding. This new equipment makes it easier and safer to maintain and prune our hedges, timber trees, pollards and orchards, as well as look after our pollen & nectar mixes and grassland.



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