British Tomato Fortnight is here and growers, suppliers and retailers again will do everything within their power to put as much attention as possible on locally grown produce.
The fortnight started on Monday and will last till 7th of June.
"We are all experiencing difficult times at the moment but our farmers and growers continue to work hard to bring us healthy, fresh and tasty fruit and vegetables", the British Tomato Growers Association explains, a group representing 20 members up and down the country. These weeks they will share the latest information, fun events, and recipes with consumers.
With Brexit and the COVID-19 outbreak there's more than enough going on in the industry. "So local is always good", he says. "Healthy eating - and having fun - is our priority at the moment. The show must go on: we have the business to focus on and we have to keep feeding the nation."
Andy Roe with Flavorfresh Salads in Lancashire UK usually focuses on growing high quality flavoured tomatoes for ASDA and Marks & Spencer in their 30 hectare glass greenhouse. These days his focus is completely different and in an outfit that might remind you of the famous Union Jack Dress worn by Geri Halliwell in 1997, he makes sure all attention will be on the event.
They've activated influencers to help them with this, but their own contribution is not to be missed either!
He explains how, as a group of growers they have become increasingly sophisticated in terms of the varieties they grow." This means the consumer has more choice than ever, from super sweet cherry tomatoes, to flavoursome baby plum, succulent large vine, hearty beef tomatoes and even tomatoes of different colours. All of this adds up to something for every occasion and for every taste."
The British Tomato Growers’ Association has created recipe ideas (including some children’s recipes, perfect for home schooling), which they will be launching as part of the annual celebration. In addition they ask consumers to think about how food can help bring communities together and share the cooked dishes.
To inspire people to do this, they've partnered also with influencers. "Over the course of the BTF, they will cook with delicious British tomatoes, create their own recipes and share what they make."
I would encourage customers to look out for British Tomatoes in their local stores", says Paul Faulkner. "Most retailers clearly identify British Tomatoes, with a Union Flag on the pack – this, I believe, is a guarantee of both freshness and quality. Understandably there has been a lot of talk about how much product we import from abroad and shortages of tinned tomatoes but there is an increasing amount of British tomatoes available and yes, they taste just as good as the ones your Grandad used to grow in his back garden."