MP supports British Tomato Week

Nick Herbert, Arundel and South Downs MP, visited Pollards Nursery in Barnham, headquarters of the British Tomato Growers Association, on Saturday (May 14).

 

British Tomato Week runs from the 15-22 May this year and the British Tomato Growers Association (BTGA) invited Mr Herbert to see the production of a variety of tomatoes grown by Eric Wall Limited at Pollard Nursery.

Mr Herbert was met by Chris Wall the Managing Director of Eric Wall Limited and his colleague Paul Faulkner, and Julie Woolley the Secretary of the BTGA.  Eric Wall Limited have been growing tomatoes under glass since 1977 at the nursery in Barnham near Arundel in West Sussex.  They are suppliers to retailers including Waitrose and Sainsbury's.   

The business was started by Eric Wall and his business partner Hugh Stephenson when they began with 2 1/2 acres of glass.  Today the site is now over 28 acres, but still very much a family business, now run by Eric's son Chris Wall.    

The MP was given a tour of the site by Chris Wall, and visited one of the glasshouses used for production.  He was introduced to the large variety of tomatoes grown along the glasshouses 33 miles of rows.  Chris described how they are successfully reducing their energy use through improved methods of heating and power.  Mr Herbert was given some of their tomatoes to take home and enjoy.   

Following the visit Mr Herbert said: "I was delighted to have been invited to the nursery to support British Tomato Week.  It was very interesting to see how tomatoes are grown commercially and to see the business' plans for expansion.  I am a strong supporter of British food and it is great that home grown tomatoes are proving that they have the quality and taste to beat the competition from imported produce."

In Westminster the Parliamentary Chefs will also be creating mouth-watering tomato dishes in three House of Commons restaurants, all featuring the best of the British crop.

Julie Woolley, Secretary of the British Tomato Growers Association said, "This is the eighth year we have celebrated British Tomato Week and it will be our third visit to the Houses of Parliament.    

"We were delighted that Nick Herbert took the time to visit Pollards Nursery in West Sussex, one of the key horticultural production areas in the country.  His support and recognition of the importance of our industry to the local economy is very encouraging.   

"It is the aim of the TGA to keep the superb British product at the forefront of consumers' minds and British Tomato Week provides us with the perfect platform, we are confident in the knowledge that British growers can produce the best tomatoes money can buy".

     

Ends

 

Notes for Editors

 

1.     Eric Pollard Limited are located at Pollards Nursery, Lake Lane, Barnham, West Sussex PO22 0AF   

2.    For more information about Eric Wall Limited please go to their website www.ericwallnursery.co.uk

3.    British Tomato Week runs from the 15-22 May 2011.  For more information please go to their website www.britishtomatoes.co.uk

4.    The British Tomato Growers Association is based at Pollards Nursery, Lake Lane, Barnham, West Sussex, PO22 0AF.  Please contact Julie Woolley, Secretary, for more information julie@britishtomatoes.co.uk

Joe Coombes