Sprouts sales are in best of health

Sales of brussels sprouts have been good so far this year as consumers continue to show an interest in healthy food, says Martin Haines - one of the largest sprout growers in the UK.

Haines, who grows the brassica with his brother William at Castle Farm in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, told Grower that sales are currently up on last year.

He said: "It's a lovely British vegetable to eat throughout the winter - it's good for you and people are becoming conscious of the fact that they need to eat more vegetables.

"Some parts of the country struggled last Christmas because the ground was frozen but where we are in the Cotswolds it did not affect us. But you never know - it could snow on us this year."

He added that people's new found preference for sprouts means supermarkets are increasing their efforts to promote them.

"All of the retailers are pushing sprouts this season. Morrisons are advertising it as a whole product this year, which I have not seen before," he continued.

The Haines brothers, whose farm was due to feature on BBC1's The One Show last Friday, are this season growing a selenium-enriched sprout for Marks & Spencer.

"Everyone is looking for innovation," he said, adding that this year's crop has an "excellent" quality and taste - and that the yields are average "but we still have a long way to go this season."


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