the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress
Students Visit Micro-Leaf Nursery
12 July 2013
On Thursday 4 July, the Sixth Form food, nutrition and health group embarked on a trip to Westlands Wow micro-salad nursery. The nursery, situated in Evesham, is spread over two sites where an enthusiastic and diverse team work hard to keep their top place in the market.
We met with Carol, our tour guide and the company's marketing manager, who talked to us about the company's history and business techniques, including their use of social media to attract and secure custom. Liz, the company's technical advisor, told us about her agricultural background and how she had come into Westlands to manage the certification (making sure the company complies with LEAF, BRC and Red Tractor as well as many other labels and awards). As a company who only sell to wholesale, Westlands were very keen to share their expertise and inspire us to get into the fresh produce market.
After our talk, we went on a tour to the warehouse where all the plants are germinated. The sophisticated hydroponics systems ran like clockwork. The greenhouse we visited afterwards showed us the next stage in the process, where the plants are all kept in carefully controlled conditions. We then went over to the greenhouse which hosts all the plants grown in soil. Here we tried various leaves, our favourite being ice lettuce, a plant which has what look like water droplets or frost on the outside of its stem, and is used by many chefs, including Heston Blumenthal.
We then followed Carol over to the other site, where we had a tour of the company's interesting heritage tomatoes. Will, another member of the Westlands company who works closely with their customers, showed us around another greenhouse giving us all sorts of different leaves and flowers to try. This was sadly where we finished our tour but we were packed off back to school with boxes and boxes of products to try at home. Our trip has certainly given us lots of ideas and inspiration about a different aspect of the food industry.
Thank you Westlands!
Polly Bowden and Hannah Stevens