Cauliflowers now appear in Tesco stores direct from the field, after Cornish grower SEF Marketing signed a deal to wash and pack the vegetables itself.

The 10-year-old company farms 1620ha (4000 acres) of cauliflower, cabbage and greens near Penzance, as well as marketing the produce of 40 local farmers on a further 1215ha (3000 acres).

But the switch away from its Lincs packhouse has opened the doors to expansion, according to technical director Alasdair MacLennan.

“Now we do most of our packing in the field and are quadrupling the size of our own packhouse to 60,000sq ft, which will also allow us to pack new products.”

It means a greater profit margin for SEF, while Tesco benefits from a shorter, more responsive supply chain. Brassica buyer Andy Carter told Farmers Weekly: “We’re looking to get as close to the growers as possible, not only from the cost angle, but to know more about the product.”