Since we set up our company in 1992, continuous investment in both our nursery and production facilities has meant that UK Salads has grown into the successful family run organisation that we see today, offering an extensive range of first class salad products.
Here at UK Salads, we are very aware of the need to produce a safe, quality product working in conjunction with our environment, so our own nursery here in Roydon comply with Red Tractor Farm Assurance Standards and as such, we are licensed to use the 'Red Tractor' logo on our English products.
To fully meet our commitments, our purpose built on site production facility is also compliant to BRC Grade A status.
To add to this, we ensure that all of our overseas growers also adhere to Global G.A.P. standards, so you can be sure that what you receive is a safe, quality product fully traceable from field to fork.
Directors: Giovanni Abella (John) Pasquale Milazzo (Pas) Leonora Milazzo (Lea) Giuseppe Schillaci (Joe) Francesca Schillaci (Franca) Vito Colletti Giuseppina Colletti (Jo)
Giovanni Abella was born in Sicily in 1934. From the age of 11 he worked on his father's land growing vegetables.
John (as he is known nowadays) moved to England in 1957 where he began his working life at Concrete Utilities in Ware. However, his love for growing was where he saw his future, but it was not until 1968 that he approached a Nursery owner who was semi-retiring and struck a deal with him to rent four glasshouses. From that day on he spent any spare time growing cucumbers.
Within two years he had bought ten glasshouses at a time when cucumbers were grown on straw bales with a covering of manure and all the feed was given by hand to each individual plant. A far cry from our modern state-of-the-art computerised growing systems.
In 1992 UK Salads was formed by John and Rosa Abella, with their daughters and husbands becoming directors of the newly formed company.
UK Salads became a limited company in 2004, but the values that were built on by John and Rosa still stand strong today, a family-run organisation with real focus on providing a quality product and service at an affordable price.
At UK Salads we are committed to working with our environment which is why we have invested heavily in Green Energy by way of our Combined Heat and Power Plant.
This plant allows us to produce electricity for the National Grid, while also giving us enough CO2 and heat to supply our own nursery.
Two engines use natural gas to generate electricity.
Water from our underground table is warmed using excess heat from the engines and then piped around the glasshouses.
Exhaust fumes from the engines are purified using Urea to create CO2 for our nursery.
Electricity generated is used to power the site.
Excess electricity is sold back to the National Grid.
Biological control is the use of natural enemies to control pests.
This can be done by introducing various predatory insects or mites or parasitic wasps, or nematodes that infect the pest with a fatal bacterial disease, a technique that is mainly used in greenhouses.
Reducing the amount of pesticides we use on our crops is very important to us and as such we work very closely with several Biological Control companies as part of our Integrated Pest Management Programme.
Pippa Pepper & Colin Cucumber in London raising awareness of the importance of the Lea Valley Salad Industry
All peppers provide rich amount of Vitamin C, but chili peppers contain an additional substance, called capsaicin which provides several health benefits such as:
The UK produces 140 million peppers per annum.
Wrap the peppers in paper bags or paper towels and store in the refrigerator to keep their freshness - up to 5 days for bell peppers and up to 3 weeks for chili peppers.
In 1492, Columbus and his explorers discovered sweet and hot peppers in the West Indies. He took samples back to Europe. Peppers quickly became popular in Europe as a food, spice and condiment. Twenty years later in 1512, travellers found bell pepper varieties growing throughout the West Indies, Central America, Mexico, Peru and Chili. Peppers were named by Christopher Columbus and Spanish explorers who were searching for peppercorn plants that produce black pepper.
Pepper plants begin from seeds. The seeds grow into a plant about 3 to 4 feet high. Peppers are actually the fruit, which form on the plants after it flowers. If green bell peppers are left on the plant long enough, they will mature and turn from green to red. The sugar content increases as a pepper matures. The red pepper therefore, tends to be sweeter than the green. Sweet bell peppers can be found in a rainbow of colours such as orange, yellow, purple and brown.
Aubergines or Eggplants are not really vegetables they are in fact berries. Which is not that strange, considering other fruits are commonly mistaken for vegetables - like tomatoes.
Eggplants and tomatoes are actually related. They both belong to the nightshade family with the famous literary poison - deadly nightshade. But don't worry, eggplant isn't toxic (at least not in normal amounts).
Ancient Persian philosophers ascribed all kinds of ailments to them - from pimples to epilepsy.
People in the U.K. called them aubergines. The word "aubergine" goes all the way back to the ancient Indian language Sanskrit. The eggplant originated in India, where it is considered to be the King of Vegetables.
The word "eggplant" that we use in North America comes from British-colonized India, where at the time, a small, white, egg-like variety of the vegetable was all the rage.
In Renaissance Italy, it was called a mala insana or "crazy apple".
Japan even has a proverb about eggplant: "The happiest omen for a New Year is first Mount Fuji, then the falcon, and lastly eggplant."
Aubergine is native to the Indian subcontinent. It has been cultivated in eastern and southern Asia before the time records were kept. However, it wasn’t introduced to the Western world until the middle ages. Today the aubergine is grown in many different countries, and many of the largest producers are still situated in Asia. China leads the worldwide production at 19 million metric tons, followed by India at 10 metric tons. Large quantities are also grown in Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Italy, the Philippines and Spain.
Aubergines must be sown early (February to March) and kept in a warm, sheltered spot to ensure a good crop. Although they can be grown outside in milder areas of the country, the best results come from growing plants on a window sill indoors or in a greenhouse. Large fruited varieties such as 'Black Beauty' should yield three to six aubergines per plant. Smaller fruited varieties like 'Fairy Tale' will produce at least 10 aubergines per plant.
Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminium to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!
Cucumbers originally came from the northern part of Indian and have been grown in that region for over 3,000 years. It was not until the Middle Ages they were first grown in Europe. It is believed that Columbus first took the plant to the New World.
They are very easy to grow and are very prolific. Planted in a section of the garden that receives full sun and has an evenly moist, fertile soil, success is almost guaranteed. Place plenty of compost into the soil before planting to help it retain moisture and to provide the nutrients the cucumber plants will need throughout the season. If space is limited, cucumbers will do just fine on a patio or deck if it receives full sun.
Tomato sauce is an excellent way of cleaning anything made from copper- jewellery to pots, the salt and acidity of tomato sauce helps remove copper oxides, leaving bright copper metal behind
Back in the day, in the 1600's it was widely accepted in Britain that tomatoes were poisonous and were grown as decorative ornamental climbers. It wasn't until the mid-1700's that tomatoes became a staple part of the British diet.
Tomato paste is great at removing chlorine from your hair. Especially if you're blonde and the chlorine from swimming pools accidentally dyes your hair green. Tomato paste helps bring back your natural hue.
Tomatoes are cholesterol free.
The best way to ripen tomatoes is to put them next to apples or bananas. Apples and bananas give off ethylene gases which speed up the ripening process.
Searching for clear skin? The high vitamin C content of tomatoes unblocks pores leaving your skin feeling soft. Tomato face peels are great, just apply slices to your face and they'll loosen the top layer of dead skin, letting it rub off.
Tomatoes are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They are classified as fruits because they are the ripened ovary of a seed plant; however, they are often mistakenly thought of as a vegetable by many.
Cooked tomatoes contain a more concentrated source of lycopene compared to raw ones. An ounce of cooked tomato contains double the amount of vitamin C, as well as almost 20 per cent higher beta-carotene, as compared to the equivalent sample of fresh tomato.
Tomatoes originated from the Andes, in what is now called Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador - where they grew wild. The first cultivated tomatoes were yellow and cherry-sized, earning them the name golden apples. They were considered poisonous but appreciated for their beauty. The Latin name for the cultivated tomato is Lycopersicon escutentum, which means edible wolf's peach, though no one is quite sure why wolf's peach.
Tomato plants can grow anywhere where it is warm and a little damp. With adequate sunlight, water, and patience as tomatoes take a long time to grow, you'll be greatly rewarded with a six foot tall tomato plant with big red juicy fruit!
UK Salads supplies customers with fresh produce. Our customers are located primarily in the UK, multiple retailers, foodservice operators, caterers and other fresh produce packers. Our physical operations are primarily based in the United Kingdom, but products are sourced both within the UK and from international suppliers.
The route to market for the products we sell is large and complex. Temporary and seasonal labour is a common feature in our supply chain and one that we have identified as our largest risk for potential ethical issues. We continually seek to identify this risk by country and supplier and to implement the mechanisms we consider necessary to provide assurance of good practice.
The very broad international nature of our business brings added complexity with considerations such as language, culture, legislation and economics all being significant influences in our supply chain.
Close relationships with recognised and respected bodies in the UK and internationally help provide support for upholding expected standards.
UK Salads is a member of SEDEX and information regarding our Ethical Trading Relationships can be found at www.Sedex.org.uk
We are committed to reducing the risk of slavery and human trafficking within our own business and our supply chains and being a member of Sedex is part of that commitment. We also recognise the Ethical Trading Initiative and follow guidelines set out in the ETI Base Code.
We are committed to ensuring that our suppliers adhere to the highest standards of ethics. Suppliers are required to declare that they provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and act ethically and within the law in their use of labour.
UK Salads will also identify its own risks and priorities and is responsible for monitoring and auditing as necessary. Where a risk of abuse is identified, a suitable action plan will be agreed and implemented, using respected third parties to monitor and support as appropriate.
Where UK Salads may use an employment agency then such employees will only be sought from Gangmaster Licenced Agencies which will be subject to regular reviews.
All new employees are informed of their rights during an induction session. We encourage all our employees, to report any concerns relating to unlawful conduct, malpractice, dangers to the public or the environment, and any other matter of a serious nature.