From left, Gary Medforth, IPL manager – Buying Edible Produce; Danielle Mitchell and William Gilpin, Gilfresh; and Billy Clelland, quality manager of Asda NI.
Loughgall company, Gilfresh, is planting new season kale, broccoli, savoy and sweetheart cabbage destined for Asda shelves across Northern Ireland from mid-June – almost three weeks earlier than in 2018.
Gilfresh, a family-run company based in Co Armagh, was established by the Gilpins over 50 years ago, and is dedicated to the growing, packing and processing of core and prepared vegetables; already supplying 25 product lines to Asda including carrots, swedes and scallions.
The team at Gilfresh will cover the seedlings with fleece to keep them warm and encourage growth, so the crop is ready to harvest in early summer.
“Asda’s ongoing commitment to local producers ensures quality homegrown produce continues to be available in season in stores across Northern Ireland,” said Danielle Mitchell from Gilfresh.
“On average in local season we supply over 5,000 cabbages, 13,000 heads of broccoli, 2,500 swedes and 17 tonnes of carrots to Asda each week. We have a great working relationship with the team there and we’re delighted to bring new season products to Asda customers earlier this year.
“We know Asda shoppers are fervent supporters of Northern Ireland’s agricultural industry and buying locally sourced produce. They are also sensitive to the environmental challenges growers face on issues such as climate change and food miles, which is an ethos shared by Asda.”
Billy Clelland, quality manager of Asda NI, said: “We have excellent working relationships with some of the best growers and suppliers across Northern Ireland – and Gilfresh is a perfect example of this. It’s fantastic to have the promise of great-tasting locally grown produce from Gilfresh on shelves even earlier this year for our customers to enjoy.”