J R & K Poll Asparagus
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 a few days ahead of delivery, allowing John to plan ahead and develop his relationship with each of the in-store managers.
Ironically, it was asparagus that sparked the idea for the Co-op’s Sourced Locally initiative.
Back in 2007, the Co-op’s Executive Officer for Retail, Roger Grosvenor, was driving through fields of locally-grown asparagus and believed that, instead of stocking shelves with asparagus of South American origin, by partnering with local farmers, Co-op customers could enjoy fresh, delicious asparagus on the same day it was harvested.
“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.”
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 to potato seed bags and spray bottles.
John Poll also works closely with another local Co-op supplier who delivers J. R. & K. Poll asparagus along with his own product 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.”
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.