Summer salads are sorted for SPAR customers across the North of England as new lines of Romaine lettuces landed on the shelves this week.
The fresh and tasty whole head Romaine lettuces are grown by Gore Hall Produce at Banks near Southport in a developing partnership with James Hall & Co. Ltd that is now into its fourth year.
Gore Hall already supply James Hall & Co. Ltd with Iceberg lettuces, as well as Little Gem and celery, and a decision was taken to plant more Romaine lettuces this year for their quality and value.
Emphasising the freshness of the Gore Hall products, all are hand cut and packaged moments after picking in the morning and are in the James Hall & Co. Ltd distribution centre in Preston by the afternoon ready to be delivered to SPAR stores the following day.
Gore Hall Produce is a seventh-generation family-owned business that have been farming on the same site since the mid-1800s, owning the farm since the 1920s.
The farm specialised into salads in the 1970s and has grown to a site of 450 acres in size, employing 100 staff.
The business, under the current stewardship of brothers Richard and David Cropper, produces lettuces during the British growing season of May to October, and celery from June to November, importing from Spain outside of these months.
Wilf Whittle, Fresh Trading Manager at James Hall & Co. Ltd, said: “We trialled the Romaine lettuces from Gore Hall last summer in our SPAR stores and they sold well, so we made the decision together with Richard and David to grow more of them this year.
“Shaped like a rugby ball, they really create a good impression with their presence on the shelves in-store. They are a very tasty, flavourful salad that is perfect for summer.
“Not only that, because of their size, they are excellent value at 89p and one Romaine lettuce will certainly provide multiple healthy meals for a family.
“We are delighted to extend the partnership with Gore Hall because they are reliable and consistent partner growers for our business, consistently delivering for us despite difficult circumstances for British growers in recent years.”
Richard Cropper said: “I think the Romaine salad is having a comeback which is fantastic to see after the Iceberg became the go to option for many years. Personally, I think it is a tastier product with a better lifespan.
“We take great pride in providing produce of the highest standard and it’s a pleasure to supply James Hall with our products.
“Coming out of the challenges the pandemic brought, we then had to overcome significant staffing issues last year as a number our employees are Ukrainian, so it really is a good feeling to have the support of James Hall and our relationship with Wilf is excellent.
“My brother David’s children are now starting to work, so the eighth generation is being introduced to the business, and we look forward to growing and supplying produce for many more years to come.”
For more information about James Hall & Co. Ltd, please visit www.jameshall.co.uk.