Starting from the 29th May until 11th June, the UK will be in peak season for growing the iconic tomato, which is the perfect time to celebrate this delicious crop that we all know and love in Britain.
This year, many fruit and vegetable growers across the UK are facing serious pressures of labour shortages, supply delays and significant increases in energy prices. To help support these current issues, British Tomatoes want to raise the awareness of British-grown produce and the multiple benefits it can bring to you.
Make sure to keep an eye out for their British Tomatoes Fortnight stickers in your local supermarket to support this event.
Buying British Tomatoes Holds a ‘Plate Full’ of Benefits!
Did you know the UK are HUGE fans when it comes to tomatoes, we eat around 500,000 tonnes of them each year! Let’s share with you the main reasons why buying British tomatoes is the best…
- It’s more environmentally friendly! Growing British tomatoes can reduce carbon emissions dramatically in comparison to buying imported counterparts who have significantly higher food miles.
- It supports local growers and the economy in the UK.
- They are more delicious and juicy in taste! This is because the tomatoes are kept on the vine for longer, allowing them to develop in flavour and be fresher from travelling less miles before reaching your dinner plate.
British Tomatoes and Boosting Your Health
British tomatoes are packed FULL of nutrition and hold qualities in which boost both your immunity and heart health. The British Tomato Growers Association worked with scientists at the University of Portsmouth last year are researching the health benefits consuming more tomatoes. The outcome of the research concluded that tomatoes are a ‘superhero’ for all-round health. This is because the tomatoes posses antioxidants and chemical compounds including lycopene and beta-carotene that protect you against cancers and other serious illnesses. The results also revealed that tomatoes can improve your gut health and boost exercise recovery.
Let’s Celebrate British Growers!
It’s fair to say we love our tomatoes…around a fifth of the total tomatoes consumed are grown in Britain! This is why we need to support and celebrate our British farmers in growing this delicious produce.
As discussed earlier, it’s been a challenging few years for our British fruit and vegetable growers across the UK.
Managing Director of The Green House Growers in Sussex, Mr Richard Diplock, has been farming fresh and sustainable produce since 1977. Producing tomatoes on almost 100 acres of land, the farm focuses on eco-friendly cultivations as a way to promote the best quality of crops. In doing so, their caron footprint is amongst the lowest of any produce in the UK.
With a high tech computer system in place to control the temperature, humidity and watering of their greenhouses 24 hours a day, they do not waste a drop of water, and collect rain from their greenhouse to irrigate the crops. They store this water in their very own reservoir which is home to an abundance of wildlife, including swans and ducks. What about pest control measures? Well, they use an army of predatory insect and rely heavily on bumblebees to pollinate the plants.
Diplock remarks: ‘We’re product to produce our tomatoes in an eco-friendly way and strive to develop our sustainable approach to farming each year‘. With operating for over 46 years, it is fair to say a lot has changed since the 1970s, but the farm continue to sow and grow high quality produce with a freshness that cannot be achieved from importing overseas.
Richard continues to reveal that we are ‘all guilty of not truly knowing where our food comes from‘, but promotes it’s never to late to start checking the label on produce to make sure we are buying British provenance where possible. From checking the label will already contribute to a more positive global impact in which will help ‘reducing cardon footprint and supporting the local economy’.
How to Enjoy Your British Tomatoes
Heritage tomatoes, also known as heirlooms, are a classic tomato grown in the UK. We wanted to celebrate this produce by creating a series of recipes that you can cook from the comfort of your home.
Let’s start off by making simple and create a delicious side dish of heritage tomatoes, roasted gently in the oven for 30 minutes. All you need is 12 – 14 British grown heritage tomatoes, olive oil, brown sugar and of course a pinch of Maldon Salt to elevate the sweetness of the toms.
A classic Caprese salad made with a handful of heirloom tomatoes and torn mozzarella. British grown heirloom tomatoes are perfect for this dish as they hold a perfect balance between acidity and a gentle level of sugar content.
Take your salad to the next level by adding sardines with your tomatoes! Perfect as a starter or as a lighter main option for the summer, this dish holds a delicate sweetness from the mix of tomatoes and the subtle saltiness from the sardines.
The Best Way is the British-Grown Way!
Teaming up with British Tomato Growers Association is important for us here at Maldon Salt, as we are always striving to help support local farmers and the industry itself. For more information on how you can get involved within the British Tomato Fortnight, follow British Tomatoes for social media updates.
Buy British and celebrate with us from 29th May to the 11th June 2023!