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Lighting innovation means we're now able to sell British tomatoes all year

By Asda Produce Team

October 3, 2017 08:46am
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We’re proud to be able to offer British-grown tomatoes all year round for the first time.

We know customers love being able to buy great tasting fresh British produce – that’s why we work closely with farmers like Andy Roe, whose use of innovative LED light technology has extended the growing season.

Retailers typically have to source tomatoes from South Africa, Spain or Turkey between December and March, but this new technology will lead to thousands more tons of tomatoes grown on British soil every year, reducing food miles and ensuring the tomatoes are at their freshest when they arrive in our stores.

LED lights help Asda's British tomatoes grow in winter
Asda tomatoes

The bright pink LED lights are installed between the vines, as you can see in the photo above. They supplement the natural daylight so the crops can be grown efficiently at all times of the year, no matter what the weather.

The technology also helps reduce the energy required for heating and ventilation by up to 35%, so the tomato growing process remains environmentally friendly.

Andy, who’s been supplying Asda with tomatoes for 20 years at Flavourfresh in Southport, says the use of LED technology is setting a precedent for the way food can be produced.

He said: “I can say with confidence that by using this technology I could grow a tomato absolutely anywhere – underground, in a Tube carriage, on the Moon.

"The beauty of this technology is that it hands complete control over to the growers. We can monitor levels and adjust accordingly to ensure the best quality products possible are hitting Asda’s shelves.

“While we may be the first UK growers to work with the technology, this is the way forward for horticulturalists across the globe.”

Asda tomato grower Andy Roe
Asda tomato grower Andy Roe

Ian Harrison from Asda has been working closely with Andy and his team. He said: “We pride ourselves on working closely with growers to make sure together we provide the best quality produce possible for our customers.

"This forward-thinking technology means not a single ounce of quality, taste or appearance is diminished in our tomatoes.”

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