UK retailer Asda has introduced a new light technology to improve tomato production in the country, and ensure that the fruit will be available all year round.
The new technology is currently being tested by one of Asda's suppliers in Southport, across 31 acres of glasshouses.
The retailer says that the LED lighting system supplements natural daylight, meaning that crops can be grown efficiently at all times of the year, no matter the weather.
The LED technology also helps to reduce the total energy required to run the greenhouses by up to 35%, mitigating the need for excessive heating and ventilation.
“I can say with confidence that by using this technology, I could grow a tomato absolutely anywhere," said tomato production manager Andy Roe, who has supplied Asda for over 20 years.
"The beauty of this technology is that it hands complete control over to the growers, who can monitor levels and adjust accordingly to ensure the best quality products possible are hitting Asda’s shelves.”
Asda sells 11 varieties of British tomato, including Extra Special Aromatico and Extra Special Tomkin. The retailer's technical director, Ian Harrison, said that this year alone 40 million punnets of tomatoes have been sold from Asda shelves.
"We pride ourselves on working closely with growers to make sure together we provide the best quality produce possible for our customers," added Harrison.
"Beyond the benefits to UK growers, this forward-thinking technology means not a single ounce of quality, taste or appearance is diminished in our tomatoes."
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Francesca Volpe. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.