Retailer looks for East Anglian tomato grower after previous local supplier switches to growing medicinal cannabis family crop

Tomatoes growing at Cornerways Nursery

Tomatoes growing at Cornerways Nursery - Credit: Archant

The East of England Co-op is on the lookout for a new local tomato supplier after the site of an award-winning producer switched to growing a cannabis family crop for medicinal use, the retailer said at its awards event last night.

British Sugar is due to start growing the non-psychoactive ingredient for a new epilepsy drug at its Wissington glasshouse this year. The company decided to replace the tomato crop, grown at Cornerways Nursery, with a plant producing Cannabidiol, the active ingredient in Epidiolex, a newly developed prescription epilepsy drug.

Cornerways was crowned East of England Producer of the Year in 2015, and supplied around half its stores with its crop for around 10 months of the year.

“I didn’t know what to say,” admitted the retailer’s local sourcing boss Kevin Warden as he recounted how they learnt of the move to guests at the East of England Producer of the Year 2017 awards. “I was blown away.”

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