Underground greens grower secures online retail deal

London urban farming pioneer Growing Underground launches its first retail range of international-themed salad mixes via Ocado.com from today (1 February).

Image: Growing Underground
Image: Growing Underground

Its five-strong series of salad mixes consists of:

  • English – English mustard leaves, broccoli shoots and pea shoots;
  • Italian – salad rocket, garlic chives and pea shoots;
  • Indian – fennel, coriander and pea shoots;
  • Asian – purple radish, coriander and pea shoots;
  • Japanese – wasabi mustard, pink stem radish and pea shoots.

Based in a World War II bomb shelter 30m beneath Clapham High Street, Growing Underground was founded five years ago by entrepreneurs Steven Dring, Richard Ballard and Chris Nelson, and is backed by chef Michel Roux Jr.

So far the business has been supplying micro-herbs and salads to London wholesalers, farmers' markets and Michelin-starred restaurants. Growing in a fully controlled, pest-free environment enables it to provide crops of consistent quality year-round, it says.

New produce trials are ongoing, and the farm has the capacity to quadruple its growing space as demand increases.

Co-founder Steven Dring said: "We've been working for years to perfect what we do and we're so excited about this retail range. Sustainable, low-energy growing of exceptional produce is a central part of our ethos and we're delighted that through this partnership with the UK's leading online supermarket we can now share our amazing micro-herbs with consumers.

"We're so pleased that Ocado have put their faith in a small start-up that is working hard to promote innovation and sustainability in British farming, and are very encouraged by what this could mean for the future of the industry."

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