Westcountry Fruit Sales
The part of the business that started it all, the history of Westcountry Fruit Sales goes back to the middle of the nineteenth century when Falmouth was a thriving port and the re-supply of ships was of crucial importance. Jump forward one hundred and fifty or more years and Westcountry is still at the heart of things supplying fresh produce to caterers and retailers across the South West – as well as re-stocking the occasional cruise ship.
We work closely with our farmers and growers to source as much local produce as possible, from root vegetables like potatoes, parsnips and swede (or turnips as we call them down here), through alliums and brassicas (leeks and onions, cabbages and cauliflower), to salad leaves and specialist market garden crops including the wonderful soft fruit grown in the South West through the summer. We also import from the rest of the UK and Europe those products that chefs and shopkeepers expect to have available year round and those which cannot be grown in the UK – bananas and other tropical fruit, lemons and other citrus, those Mediterranean vegetables that have become staples, competitively priced and all in tip-top condition.
In early 2014 we started importing direct from Rungis market just outside Paris, buyers working on our behalf purchase the finest produce and it arrives with us within twenty-four hours ensuring that it is as fresh as can be when it gets to our customers.
Finally, again in the spring of 2014, we started growing our own produce! Working with Pete Lawrence, a vastly experienced organic grower famous for his Lizard Leaves range, we purchased Canara Farm, an organic market garden near Mylor, between Truro and Falmouth. Three huge polytunnels provide a huge variety of specialist varieties, you can read more about them on our Canara Farm page.
We have recently resumed growing our own produce; working with the renowned organic salad producer, Pete Lawrence of Lizard Leaves, we have purchased Canara Farm at Mylor, between Truro and Falmouth. Our spring sowing includes heritage tomato varieties, baby carrots and turnips, numerous salad leaves and tender leafed salad brassicas, courgettes, peppers, baby pak choi and spring onions, peas and beans, edible flowers, herbs and more – all produce will be Soil Association certified organic. This is an exciting new venture for us and will increase the quality and diversity of our fresh produce offering while reducing our food miles and carbon footprint. You can read more about the Canara Farm development here.
Along with Canara Farm, Lizard Leaves is the latest addition to the WestCountry family. Pete Lawrence has been producing Soil Association certified organic salad leaves for the retail and catering trades since 2003. The perfect balance of taste, texture and appearance, every bag is picked, packed and delivered within twenty four hours of being picked at the farm just outside Mylor. All our babyleaves are grown in accordance with the organic farming principles of sustainable intensities of production, careful management of the soil, and conservation of wildlife and biodiversity. We are inspected and certified by the Soil Association annually, they are the most rigorous of the UK’s certification bodies, you can find out more here.
We buy as much fresh produce as we can from Cornwall and Devon, if we can’t get what we need in either county, then we try Somerset next, then Dorset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire etc. There are times, however, when we can’t source a product in the UK – from lemons to black truffles, extra virgin olive oil to aged balsamic vinegar – that’s when we look to buy direct from Rungis Market on the outskirts of Paris. The quality of fresh fruit and vegetables available at Europe’s biggest food market is extraordinary; we import direct to ensure that it arrives in perfect condition. The range of specialist food products is massive; Rungis Direct gives you access to the same produce as the best chefs in Europe, find out more here.