London's first underground farm seals Ocado salad deal

Growing underground, housed in a former WWII shelter beneath a London high street has begun selling its salads to the online grocer this week

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The Independent Online

Growing Underground, the UK’s first underground farm, housed 100 feet beneath Clapham High Street in a World War II bomb shelter, has struck a deal with Ocado to carry its first retail range of salads.

A range of five bagged salads will be available to buy from the online grocer starting from this week. It’s first major retail deal for the five-year-old business.

The company’s salads are grown in a carefully-controlled, pest free environment which the farmers claim allows them to produce crops of consistent quality, regardless of the weather or season.

The leaves that are currently being harvested are English mustard, broccoli shoots, pea shoots, salad rocket, garlic chives, fennel, coriander, purple radish and pink stem radish.

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Founded by entrepreneurs Steven Dring, Richard Ballard and Chris Nelson, the farm seeks to promote innovation and sustainability in British farming. It has secured the backing of celebrity chef Michel Roux Jr.

Earlier this year, supermarkets found themselves struggling to source salad ingredients, courgettes, broccoli and cabbage after a snap of cold weather hit suppliers in Spain and Italy.

Steven Dring, co-founder of Growing Underground, said he was “thrilled” to have secured the deal with Ocado.

“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,” Mr Dring said.

“We are very encouraged by what this could mean for the future of the industry,” he added.

 

Additional reporting by PA

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