It’s a little known fact but the unique sheltered fields of County Armagh give Northern Ireland vegetable growers a distinct advantage over their UK rivals – and mean that local shoppers here are first in line for the freshest new season produce.
Thanks to the sheltered growing conditions and ideal weather in recent weeks, Tesco stores in Northern Ireland are among the first in the UK to stock new season local leeks and a wide range of new season cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and swedes from Loughgall-based Gilfresh. Gilfresh supplies over 350,000 cases of fresh produce to Tesco NI each year. The third-generation Co Armagh family business and its network of local vegetable growers have been delivering fresh produce for over 50 years.
This first-to-market new season crop is welcome news to Gilfresh which has just come through one of the most challenging times in recent years due to the extremely wet weather conditions. However thanks to the dedication, hard work and expertise of the company and its grower base, Tesco customers have been continuously supplied with fresh vegetables.
William Gilpin, Owner and General Manager of Gilfresh Produce said: “We’ve had growers out in the field checking the crop for the last few weeks, waiting for the optimum time to harvest and the results have been fantastic. We enjoy a great relationship with Tesco, and are now supplying 25 vegetable lines to the business, including carrots, cabbages and salad crops.”
Cliff Kells, Tesco Northern Ireland Commercial Manager, said: “We continue to work closely with growers in Northern Ireland to offer our customers the best of fresh locally sourced produce as early as possible.”
The first of the new season crop is now on sale in Tesco stores throughout Northern Ireland.