Paul D

We all know you love local produce and we’re proud of our award winning range. In Wales one of our growers is going from strength to strength and with Welsh Assembly Support, the future looks bright too.

Puffin Produce supply 90% of their Welsh potatoes to Asda, Waitrose and M&S Welsh that are grown in the beautiful & fertile Pembrokeshire Countryside.

They recently announced an £8 million investment they’re making, £4.1m of which coming from the Welsh Assembly. So when Chris, our spuds technical manager, visited to assess this season’s crop there was more than just this season to discuss.

Posted by Paul D on 23 June 2011
Paul D

A mate of mine once told me size isn’t everything, but when it comes to cuteness it has to be small!

tiny aubergines

Check out these tiny aubergines we’ve just started selling – they’re perfect for Mediterranean dishes, in curries or griddled with olive oil & finished with herbs.

Posted by Paul D on 24 June 2011
Paul D

We’re in the middle of the agricultural show season and last week were at the East Of England. Shows are a once a year opportunity to anchor ourselves in a location over several days and engage with growers, farmers and the general public. As ever we learn loads and hopefully they do too.

We’re certainly exciting the many school children who come on the stand who can this year milk a ‘cow’, drive a digger and see potatoes ‘grow’ from chitted spud to harvest. They’re long crazy days with many interesting sights, smells and sounds……we even had a Red Indian visit this year… Peterborough! It’s the Royal Highland next, then Royal Welsh, then Great Yorkshire. Come and join in the fun!

Posted by Paul D on 23 June 2011
Paul D

We try to keep things simple, so when fruit and veg is in season in Britain we’ll favour this over imports because we know British is what you want. Right? But with some produce there is a period of time when, although British is available the quality dips to a level that we deem unnacceptible for you.

It’s at that point we import to give you the best quality. So for example for the next 3-6 weeks you’ll see on our shelves carrots and parsnips from France and Spain. Are we right? Tell us what you think.

Anyway, Chris our technical guy flew out to check out this year’s crop and the carrots especially looked great. The level of automation is impressive (I love the machine that picks the carrots out of the ground!), but you’ll also see there’s no replacing the human eye as the production line pick out those not up to spec!

Posted by Paul D on 22 June 2011
Aisle Spy Fruit & Veg

Do you have a question about where the fruit and vegetables you buy from Asda come from? Do you want to learn more about how to grow your own?

Leave your questions as a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them here on the blog.

Posted in Aisle Spy Fruit & Veg on 15 June 2011
Aisle Spy Fruit & Veg

Everyone loves bananas and they’re also the biggest single selling item in our stores.

Last week I visited Fyffes banana ripening centre near Coventry with ASDA banana expert Jim. Watch the video to find out where our bananas come from, how we ripen them and how we get them out to our stores.

Posted in Aisle Spy Fruit & Veg on 21 June 2011
Paul D

Open Farm Sunday

Asda is a passionate supporter of the Open Farm Sunday initiative where farms open their gates to the general public for the day.
It’s run by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and we’re proud to sponsor what is now becoming a very popular annual event that is both educational and fun.
Customers inform our every decision and we feel the more they know about food production the better they can steer our performance and behaviours as suppliers and retailers alike.

Open Farm SundayThese shots are taken at one of our partner farms – Stewarts of Tayside who grow strawberries, raspberries and swedes for us. 534 visitors made their way to Tofthill Farm, Glencarse to be guided through the ‘seed to store’ story via an array of activities from tractor rides to tours of the farm pack houses.

The weather stayed good and everyone learnt a lot and had some fun!

Posted by Paul D on 13 June 2011
Paul D

……well not literally!! It doesn’t taste like Marmite, but it’s divided opinion in our team just like the yeasty extract has for years. So we thought we’d ask you. We’re always trying to find interesting products that you’ll enjoy and ways to make your shopping and eating experiences better and we thought this is
how many of you will have bought tomatoes when abroad.

In France, Spain and Italy varieties like this green tomato are on supermarket shelves and in outdoor markets in abundance. Green doesn’t always mean un-ripe as this delicious rugby ball shaped variety proves.

Anyway, please tell us what you think and we might give it a go in store!

Posted by Paul D on 01 June 2011
Paul D

Last winter was the harshest winter in 75 years. Spring brought the driest March for 50 years and parts of the UK suffered the driest April since records began. For the majority of us (barring a little inconvenience) this meant sledging, early BBQs and freckles on the kids before Easter!

However for many of the farmers who supply us Fruit and Veg it’s been a nightmare. Our Technical Manager Stephen Grey went to see John and Ben at Lincolnshire Field Products (LFP) who grow cauliflowers, sprouts and broccoli. Those crops that did survive the winter are not growing too well. Those being planted now are similarly struggling to grow.

With whole fields being decimated and imported products brought in, Ben explains the techniques he’s having to employ for the second time to get moisture into these parched fields to enable us to bring you the British vegetables you always tell us you want to buy.

Posted by Paul D on 01 June 2011