A DEAL REPORTEDLY worth £20m has been struck between Asda and Leeds-based Fullers Foods, who will supply the retailer with frozen vegetables.
It means that 80 British growers will benefit from long-term contracts to grow broccoli, cauliflower and peas at fixed prices for Asda‘s 274 stores.
This includes a group of 42 growers based in the Scottish borders, who farm around 20,000 acres – predominantly peas – for Scottish Borders Produce (SBP).
Fullers‘ sales director, Jason Fuller, said: “This deal represents 30,000t of vegetables and is reward for over a year‘s worth of planning and hard work.
“We can now raise the bar in terms of improved quality, and ensure we always deliver ‘Best Ever‘ availability for Asda‘s customers, whilst helping to secure a future for our farmers.”
A spokesman for the retailer said: “The Fullers contract reinforces ASDA’s long-term commitment to UK farming at a time when other retailers are switching supply to Eastern Europe.
“Under the terms of the agreement we will immediately increase the amount of UK vegetables we source for our frozen products by 50%.”
Roger Welberry, a Lincs vegetable farmer and chairman of the NFU Veg Committee, described the deal as great news for British farmers.
“Asda‘s commitment to purchasing frozen vegetables from UK growers will give much more stability to the vegetable market.
“The supply agreement with Fullers gives growers a fixed price and fixed tonnage requirement prior to planting, and is a first in terms of its long-term commitment to UK growers for frozen veg.”
Fullers will employ 80 staff at its central processing facility to service the contract, which Asda claimed would save 120,000 food miles each year.