Ready to harvest 150m-plus sprouts

T. H. Clements will be harvesting a mountain of sprouts for Tesco this Christmas. EMN-161214-125015001
T. H. Clements will be harvesting a mountain of sprouts for Tesco this Christmas. EMN-161214-125015001

A Benington business is again poised to supply supermarket giant Tesco with millions upon millions of that Christmas essential, the Brussels sprout.

T. H. Clements has been supplying Tesco for 35 years and provides the chain’s shoppers with more than 150 million Brussels sprouts every Christmas, harvesting about 1,500 tonnes of the vegetable within just 10 days.

It takes 18 months for Clements to produce the seasonal standard.

Each sprout plant is grown individually from seed in a greenhouse before being transplanted into the field. It takes 10 months from seed to grow sprouts, and so Clements are already planning Christmas 2017.

After picking, sprouts go through the process of being cooled, graded for quality and size, and packed. They are then sent to Tesco distribution centres to be on the shelf for customers in 24 hours.

T. H. Clement’s commercial director Richard Mowbray said: “We put a lot of time and effort into making sure Brussels sprouts are of the highest possible standard for Christmas, harvesting them just in time to ensure great quality for the festive meal. 

“We also believe that sprouts are not just for Christmas and grow them in the UK from the end of July through until the end of March.”

Over the two weeks leading up to Christmas, Tesco plan to sell an estimated three million packs of pre-pack sprouts, which makes up 30 per cent of Tesco’s total annual sprout sales.

Tesco technical manager Rob Hooper said: “We know how important sprouts are to our customers at this time of year and we pride ourselves on sourcing British sprouts of the highest quality and freshness. T. H. Clements are an excellent partner and help us to provide customers with some of the best sprouts around.”

Tesco has produced a short film showing harvesting on T. H. Clements’ farm.

You can find the 30-second clip at www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMZ37aIj818