Growing Underground, the revolutionary farm based in a World War II bomb shelter 100 feet beneath Clapham high street, will launch their first retail range when they commence supply to Ocado today. The exciting new series of salad mixes, featuring flavours from around the world, will be available at Ocado.com from 1 February.
The five salad mixes that will form the initial Ocado range are:
• English – English mustard leaves, broccoli shoots and pea shoots
• Italian – salad rocket, garlic chives and pea shoots
• Indian – fennel, coriander and pea shoots
• Asian – purple radish, coriander and pea shoots
• Japanese – wasabi mustard, pink stem radish and pea shoots
The farm was founded five years ago by entrepreneurs Steven Dring, Richard Ballard and Chris Nelson and has secured the backing of chef Michel Roux Jr, who oversees produce from a taste perspective.
This is the first major retail deal for the business, which has been supplying micro herbs and salads to London wholesalers, farmers markets and Michelin-starred restaurants, winning international acclaim and attention for its innovative approach to urban growing.
Growing in a carefully-controlled, pest-free environment allows Growing Underground to deliver exceptional produce of consistent quality, whatever the weather. A range of 14 different micro herbs are grown which are harvested, mixed and packed daily, and then distributed nationwide via Ocado. New produce trials are happening all the time and the farm has the capacity to quadruple its growing space as demand increases.
Steven Dring, co-founder of Growing Underground, said: “We are all absolutely thrilled to have secured this deal with Ocado. We’ve been working for years to perfect what we do and we’re so excited about this retail range; sustainable, 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. We’re so pleased that Ocado have put their faith in a small start-up that is working hard to promote innovation and sustainability in British farming, and are very encouraged by what this could mean for the future of the industry.”