We are all experiencing difficult times at the moment but our farmers and growers continue to work hard to bring us healthy, fresh and tasty fruit and vegetables. One such group is the British Tomato Growers’ Association, which has 20 members up and down the country from the Isle of Wight to Teesside. Paul Faulkner, who represents growers from across the country, comments;
“I would encourage customers to look out for British Tomatoes in their local stores. Most retailers clearly identify British Tomatoes, with a Union Flag on the pack – this, I believe, is a guarantee of both freshness and quality. Understandably there has been a lot of talk about how much product we import from abroad and shortages of tinned tomatoes but there is an increasing amount of British tomatoes available and yes, they taste just as good as the ones your grandad used to grown in his back garden. As a group of growers we have become increasingly sophisticated in terms of the varieties we grow. This means the consumer has more choice than ever, from super sweet cherry tomatoes, to flavoursome baby plum, succulent large vine, hearty beef tomatoes and even tomatoes of different colours. All of this adds up to something for every occasion and for every taste. The British Tomato Growers’ Association has yet again created some fantastic recipe ideas (including some great children’s recipes, perfect for home schooling), which we will be launching as part of our annual celebration “British Tomato Fortnight” – 25th May to 7th June.”
As well as encouraging you to cook with fresh tomatoes and add them to your diet, this year we’re ask you to think about how food can help bring communities together. If you cook using British Tomatoes, we would love you to share a portion of whatever you have made with someone from your community. This could be an elderly neighbour, a care worker, a parent you know is finding lockdown particularly hard, or anyone you want to make smile – following all the social distancing guidelines of course!
To inspire people to do this, we’ve partnered with a selection of food and lifestyle influencers from different parts of the country. Over the course of the BTF, they will cook with delicious British tomatoes, create their own recipes and share what they make. We’ll be sharing their creations on our social channels, so keep an eye out for some inspiration. If you’d like to get involved, please use the #BTF20 and tag us on Twitter @britishtomatoes or Instagram @britishtomatoes. We would love to see what you make!
To kickstart your creativity, you can find recipes here on our website, on Instagram @britishtomatoes or Facebook @britishtomatogrowersassociation. Some are quick and easy; others are more elaborate, but I guarantee there is something for everyone.
Did You Know?
The British tomato industry has a glasshouse area of 190ha, that’s twice the area of all the football pitches added together in the British professional leagues and getting bigger!