James Hall & Co, the supplier to over 640 SPAR stores have revisited their offer by sourcing more local produce. “We are offering more fruit and vegetables from local producers and relying less on imports” explained Wilf Whittle, Fresh Trading Manager at the company.
“Of course, it is not always possible to source locally, but by supplying seasonal products we can cut our carbon footprint, shorten the supply chain and support local growers, many of whom are independent. Local seasonal produce can compete in price with imports, we have longstanding relationships with our growers and people recognise good quality and value.”
James Hall & Co source chillies from Lancashire, potatoes from Ormskirk as well as many other products from local farms including celery, cress salad, peashoots, radishes, broccoli, swede, cauliflower and carrots. Herbs from Yorkshire and red and white onions from Cambridgeshire.
Wilf also said they are committed to reducing plastic waste where possible and have recently refurbished one of their company owned stores in Birkdale Village, designing a loose fruit and vegetable aisle to reduce unnecessary plastic waste reaching the shop floor, and working with local suppliers to provide the very best range of fresh, local produce.
The heavy rain and flooding in Britain has brought a premature end to the UK season, "Our celery supplier has lost over 300k heads due to floods. It's the polar opposite to last year when conditions were dry, this year we have experienced a huge amount of heavy rain since August, water levels are simply sitting very high and now growers are also having to cope with the sudden frost. Growers are in need of some dry weather which will enable them to dig before any hard frost damages the crop and its lost. We have moved over to Spanish salads, imported broccoli and cauliflower, however we still have British parsnips, potatoes, carrots and of course the staple of the Christmas dinner, Brussel’s sprouts!"