J. R. & K. Poll Asparagus

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Tender, succulent and local

John Poll and his team produce 250g bundles of fresh asparagus from his fields in Leiston and have delivered direct to our stores across Suffolk for over three years.

Each East of England Co-op Food store sends its order directly, just a few days ahead of delivery, allowing John to develop his relationship with each of the store managers.

In fact, it was asparagus that sparked the idea for the Co-op’s Sourced Locally initiative in the first place.

Back in 2007, the Co-op’s Joint Chief Executive for Retail, Roger Grosvenor, was driving through fields of locally-grown asparagus and believed that, instead of stocking shelves with asparagus from South America, by partnering with local farmers, Co-op customers could enjoy fresh, delicious asparagus, from field to fork in a matter of hours.

“Our partnership with the Co-op has been a great benefit in my ability to market my asparagus with a known local outlet, instead of supplying places further afield.”

John Poll

Reducing environmental impact

As with many of the East of England Co-op’s Sourced Locally producers, J. R. & K. Poll recycles all the packaging on the farm, from fertiliser bags and seed potato sacks to spray bottles.

John Poll delivers J. R. & K. Poll asparagus direct to stores, which further reduces the impact on the environment.

“Asparagus likes to be grown on light, free-draining soil, which makes the Coastal sands of Suffolk ideal. We buy crown (small plants), which are hand planted and take two years to establish enough strength. The plant bed can then be cut for up to 8 – 10 years before they reduce in yield.”

John Poll

Flavour over food miles

At the East of England Co-op we’re delighted to offer a local alternative to a product that’s frequently imported to the UK (and which will have clocked up thousands of air miles and have none of the local asparagus’ wonderful flavour).

We believe we are unique in bringing John’s local asparagus direct from the field into store – we urge everyone to enjoy it while they can.