On the 19th of May the sun shone across the UK and the Tomato Growers Association started the celebration of its 10th British Tomato Week.
The sunshine unfortunately was short lived, however, once it's under way nothing can dampen the British Tomato Growers' spirits!
The week was launched with a very special event, the opening of a brand new state of the art glasshouse in Evesham. The new glasshouse, named FREDA, is the latest addition to the R&L Holt family run business and is situated at Sandylands Nurseries. FREDA is an 8500m² ultra-modern glasshouse with a diffused glass roof, inter-lighting with LEDs, and an energy efficient CHP unit. The site also boasts an annex with dispatch area and office suite.
Whilst fresh tomatoes made an early morning appearance at Broadcasting House, radio and TV stations from BBC Radio Scotland down to BBC South Coast Radio people were talking tomatoes! On ITV's Lorraine programme Celebrity Chef, Dean Edwards, created a delicious tomato tart for British Tomato Week.
Away from the corridors of power, everyone was able to enjoy fresh British tomatoes at selected tasting events around the country; shoppers were urged to look out for the British Tomato Week stickers on packs in store, whilst children in various schools received tomato tasters. During the week #britishtomatoweek trended on Twitter, the TGAs own site doubled in followers, and thousands visited the TGA website.
TGA Secretary, Julie Woolley said "In March this year we were delighted to win the Best Consumer Marketing Campaign at the prestigious national Grower of the Year Awards and a huge part of our consumer marketing activity takes place during British Tomato Week. It is the support from our member's which makes this event so successful, whether it is covering a radio interview, driving fruit to Central London at 1am, hosting a charity event on their nursery, or wearing a tomato costume in Westminster, TGA members always deliver, just like British tomatoes do!"
Did You Know?
British tomato production amounts to about 65,000 metric tonnes per year (approximately 2 billion tomatoes!)- about a fifth of the total volume of tomatoes sold in the country through the year, and up to a half in the summer.