Onion co-operative extends lifespan of growing season with new development

Onions in the new Greenshoots' store house.
Onions in the new Greenshoots' store house.
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A new multi-million pound store in Chatteris is helping to extend the season for UK grown onions.

Bosses of the co-operative Greenshoots, which grows 20,000 tonnes of onions a year, say the development will lengthen the season by about three weeks.

The onion harvest under way.

The onion harvest under way.

Marc Heading, one of the members of the farmers’ co-operative, which supplies Peterborough-based Produce World with onions, says an extended domestic season and better overall quality are key benefits from the store.

He said: “We had been supplying out of bulk stores on-farm and many of these needed updating.

“We saw an opportunity to build a state-of-the-art facility on the doorstep of Produce World’s factory at Chatteris.

“The store gives us the best drying facilities, the best refrigeration, and the most efficient insulation. We can store and transport our onions more efficiently. This store should extend the season for UK onions by at least three weeks, which will reduce the need for imports. It will also improve the quality of onions going into the factory.”

The new store can hold about 6,500 tonnes of onions – the equivalent of six-and-a-half million kilogramme bags.

About 60 per cent of the onions stored are brown and 40 per cent red.

Members of the Greenshoots cooperative have been working with Produce World for up to twenty-five years.

Matt Starbuck, of Produce World, said: “Greenshoots are a key partner for us and we are delighted that they have chosen to build this store next to our factory at Chatteris.

“It will help to ensure continuity of supply and contribute towards our continuing quest for the best possible service and product quality.”