As a follow up from the work we put in, to ensure the supply chain and providence of the food we purchase for our Soil Association, Catering Mark, Silver Award, Charlotte, Emily and I were lucky enough to get the opportunity to visit Rhymney Valley Nurseries, here in Cardiff yesterday.  They are part of the Haygrove group, who are a supplier to Tesco of soft fruits including Strawberries and Blackberries. The Rhymney Valley site is home to greenhouses totalling 10.7 ha. We got to hear how they have innovated and changed this industry, including:

*by using waste coconut husks to plant the fruit and have thereby negated the use for peat, which is an unsustainable natural resource,

*by using 'beneficial' insects they introduce to the crop to eradicate pests and greatly minimise the use of pesticides,

*by investing in the development of the new varieties of fruits to give a sweeter taste and fuller texture

*by developing new growing methods which have extended the growing seasons meaning they are now, for instance, able to harvest strawberries for 9 months of the year.

This visit greatly heightened our confidence that Tesco is committed to working with British and Irish suppliers, who can sustain their supply of produce to Tesco, assisted by Tesco with fair deals and their continued support.  It was explained that Tesco understand that the majority of their customers were more interested in buying British than they were cheap and Tesco respond to this!  The very fact that we were able visit a supplier that was less than 20 minutes away from the Nursery and were given a choice of other suppliers in the surrounding areas, spoke volumes to us!  We would like to thank John Worth from Tesco, Will Barwick from Berry Gardens and Kayleigh and Chris of Rhymney Valley Nursery for their time yesterday and in arranging this visit and for the enthusiasm and knowledge they imparted to us during our visit.  It was a real pleasure!

We are the first independent nursery in Wales to achieve the Soil Assocation, Food for Life Silver Catering Mark!!

We are extremely proud of this achievement and its ability to fully evidence that we really care about what food we feed your child, from low salt content to sustainably sourced fish!  We make every effort to ensure the meals are varied, tasty and packed full of nutrients to help give your child the best start possible!

To read more about this award and how we gained it please click on the Soil Association logo on the 'Our Food' tab.  You can also read our Case Study by following the attached link.

All The Blue Door Nursery Staff