hazeldeneimageHazeldene, leading UK freshly prepared salad supplier, have been getting their hands dirty, focusing on developing what is at the root of their business – raw materials. By being innovative, getting in field and growing new varieties, they aim to put more flavour on the plate, this year and beyond.

This month Hazeldene welcomed suppliers and customers alike to their Lancashire trial plot for the very first time. The trial is extensive and has over 100 different varieties of Whole Head, Continental and Baby Leaf lettuce. It also includes Aromatic Herbs and Oriental Leaf varieties.

The aim is to provide customers with new and enticing flavours, colours, textures, life and shape for the potential inclusion in bagged salads, sandwiches, wraps, salad bowls and stir-frys.

Between now and September Hazeldene will be inviting customers from convenience retail and food manufacturing, plus development chefs from the foodservice sector to visit.

Simon Ball, Managing Director of Hazeldene said: “This represents a great opportunity not just for our customers and us but for our growers as well. Being in the field, in the thick of it, we have the ability to taste, view and assess the many different leaves being grown. It is difficult to reproduce this away from the field with there being so many varieties.

“The interest that the trial has created to date across all sectors in which we specialise, convenience retail, food manufacturing and foodservice, has been fantastic!”

It is also worth remembering that Hazeldene are not just specialists in leafy salads, but they also have an extensive range of sliced products that enables them to offer multiple solutions in high care salad and vegetable ingredients.

Now that the UK season is under way over 72% of the leaf is supplied locally, supported by a wider geographical spread from the Vale of Evesham, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and West Sussex.

Hazeldene’s expert agronomist and Technical Director Simon Hendry has a deep-rooted knowledge of sustainable farming backed up with 25 years of experience. Over the years Simon has established profound relationships with seed houses, to introduce and re-introduce new and traditional varieties while working closely with leading UK retailers. Simon has been instrumental in developing the Lancashire variety trials, working alongside personal and professional friends at Tozer Seeds.

Simon Hendry, said: “To increase our offering further we believe innovation is key and we could not improve our products without the support of our suppliers. We cannot over-emphasise the importance of our supplier partnerships in achieving our ambition. We benefit from a seamless link from plant to plate, having created strong supplier and grower relationships that we are incredibly proud of.

This approach allows us to deliver ‘best in class’ Hazeldene products that truly deliver and add more to flavour, taste and the overall eating experience – beyond the ‘usual suspects’.”

Simon is leading Hazeldene’s plant to plate strategy to grow, nurture, harvest, process, package and distribute a range of products that ‘put more flavour on the plate’.

To experience this opportunity for yourself, why not come and put your taste buds to the test, contact one of the team to set up a tailor-made visit. Hazeldene will even supply the wellies! Call 01942 219910 or email info@hazeldene.co.uk

For further information please visit www.hazeldene.co.uk

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