Essex onion growers raise £50k for cancer charity from Tesco sales

Each bag of Rosanna pink onions, grown by Stourgarden Ltd at Great Horkesley, Colchester, and sold i

Each bag of Rosanna pink onions, grown by Stourgarden Ltd at Great Horkesley, Colchester, and sold in Tesco stores, have been raising funds Cancer Research UK Race for Life Campaign. - Credit: Archant

Essex onion growers have so far raised more than £50,000 for a cancer charity from sales of one of its more unusual varieties in Tesco stores.

P G Rix (Farms) Ltd, Lodge Farm, Great Horkesley grows 370ha of onions. Pictured are brothers John a

P G Rix (Farms) Ltd, Lodge Farm, Great Horkesley grows 370ha of onions. Pictured are brothers John and Bill Rix, who run the farm business along with their sons, Sam and George. - Credit: Archant

Stourgarden Ltd, which is owned by the Rix family and is based at Great Horkesley, near Colchester, grows and packs its own produce. It launched its Rosanna Pink Onions in 2012 with the aim of trying to introduce new products into the onion category.

They are sold in 1kg bags, and 2p from each pack sold goes to Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life campaign.

Stourgarden and the retail giant, which sells them in more than 600 of its stores nationwide, are donating more than £24,000 to the cause after last year’s sales of the pink-coloured onions, which are grown exclusively by the Essex producers, exceeded their fundraising target.

Stourgarden’s commercial director George Rix said: “Each year we look forward to trying to support Race for Life and increasing our donation to Cancer Research UK. We are thrilled to have reached a donation of £24,919.04 for 2016.”


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Cancer Research UK’s head of events Clive Saunders said they were grateful for the continued support.

“The incredible amount they have donated will help us continue our pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and we look forward to continuing our partnership in 2017,” he said.

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Since they were launched nearly five years ago in a three-in-line pack, the range has expanded to three different pack sizes due to growing demand. The onions are available for sale September until June.

“Rosanna pink onions have shown both innovation and longevity remaining in the onion aisle and increase sales year on year,” said marketing manager Jemma Rix.

“These pink onions have a unique flavour and a blushing pink colour, which are always a talking point around the dinner table.”

Brothers Bill and John Rix launched Stourgarden together in 1995, having both been involved in the family farm. Bill takes responsibility for the running of the packing and procurement side, while John looks after the growing side. The factory also slices and dices onions for the ingredients market.

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