Roly steps up to enjoy his slice of fame in bid to encourage shoppers to buy British - The Evesham Observer

Roly steps up to enjoy his slice of fame in bid to encourage shoppers to buy British

Evesham Editorial 3rd Jun, 2022   0

A VALE of Evesham grower has become the face of a national supermarket’s campaign to support British-grown tomatoes.

For the next six weeks, Roly Holt will feature on standalone shelves in Sainsbury’s shops throughout the country as Britain celebrates British Tomato Fortnight.

Instore shelves will be packed with fresh tomatoes supplied by growers based in Britain, including Roly, making it easier for customers to choose British-grown produce.

The British Tomato Growers’ Association (BTGA) promotion coincides with British Tomato Fortnight, an annual campaign which celebrates peak tomato growing season in Britain, which comes to an end on Sunday (June 5).

Family-run R and L Holt in Offenham Cross has been producing tomatoes in the Vale of Evesham since 1980 and has worked closely with Evesham Vale Growers (EVG) for more than 20 years. EVG are major suppliers of British-grown tomatoes to Sainsbury’s, and the shipper features varieties such as Golden Vittoria, Ruby Jewel and Best of British tom.

“We’re delighted Sainsbury’s are promoting the peak of British tomato season, showing the appetite in this country for British-grown produce,” Roly said.

“We’re also really proud to be featured so prominently in the promotion, putting local British growers on the map and showcasing the amazing tomatoes we produce in this country.”

World events over the past year, including COVID-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have meant many fruit and veg growers across Britain are facing pressures like labour shortages, manufacturing delays and skyrocketing energy prices.

Julie Woolley from the BTGA, said: “Against all the odds this year, growers like R and L Holt have worked incredibly hard with retailers to keep up with demand for fresh, juicy British tomatoes.

“It’s fantastic to see them front and centre in one of the country’s leading supermarkets.

“At a time when supporting home-grown produce is more important than ever, buying British tomatoes is better for the local economy and more sustainable because they travel less miles to your plate.”

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