Asda has awarded Leeds-based frozen food supplier Fullers Foods International a multi-million pound contract to source UK frozen vegetables for all its 274 stores throughout Britain.
The multiple said several thousand extra acres of UK veg would be grown as a result of the deal, which includes frozen broccoli, cauliflower and peas.
Asda also claimed that 120,000 food miles would be saved by switching its frozen veg contract to a UK grower base, and more than 80 jobs at Fullers’ UK processing facility would also be secured.
Asda’s frozen veg general manager, Andrew Palfrey, 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, Asda will immediately double the amount of UK veg it sources for its frozen products.
“The deal is also a lifeline to more than 80 farmers who will be contracted to grow vegetables specifically for Asda on a fixed-price basis.
“This includes a group of 42 growers based in the Scottish borders, who farm around 20,000 acres for Scottish Borders Produce.”
Roger Welberry, chairman of the Lincolnshire NFU vegetable committee, said: “Asda’s commitment 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 vegetables.”