To celebrate British Food Fortnight, we spoke to Paul Grimshaw, Director of D.D.P. Ltd.
D.D.P. Ltd is a supplier of high-quality British and international fruit and vegetables, servicing the catering trade including, contract caterers, hospitality, schools, colleges, events companies and retailers.
The quality of their products and services is exemplified by having been awarded Royal Warrants twenty years ago; an honour still held today. Contact Paul and his team to order.
(Image: Paul Grimshaw with his famous original D.D.P. barrow from the former Covent Garden Market, Westminster).
Why should the food service industry and the public buy British?
“We are proud to work closely with British growers who cultivate a huge variety of fresh produce right on our door step.
We can have fruit and vegetables in our warehouses that were in the fields only hours ago, unbelievable freshness. Food miles and the impact on the environment are significantly reduced.”
What types of British produce are popular over harvest time? What's incredible right now?
“So many beautiful ingredients. Squashes, apples, pears, plums, the plums are stunning this year. Also, British berries while they last; get them while you can!”
(Image: British plums, courtesy of farmer Mark Eastwood).
Do you have an interesting fact or two about a particular product that is now in season?
“A lot of our customers like the Marjorie’s Seedling Plums, which I understand the original grower named after his wife – lots of ‘brownie’ points.
Cobnuts are also popular at this time of year. I understand it is only the female flowers that produce the nuts, whilst the male flowers produce catkins!”
(Image: British cobnuts from Kent at New Covent Garden Market).
Tell us a great fact or two about your business.
“We have held the Royal Warrant for over 20 years for supplying Her Majesty the Queen.
D.D.P. Ltd is a heritage business with a rich history. We have operated for over forty years.”
Have you seen an increase in the sales of British produce?
“Year-on-year we believe the consumer is more conscious about what they eat and where their food comes from, so yes, absolutely.”
In regard to British produce, can you give an example of how your company is sustainable?
"A great deal of time has been invested in meeting suppliers and growers to explain what we and our customers demand in terms of specification, quality and sustainability. We champion British produce and hold BRC Certification and Red Tractor Assurance."
Can you give us information about a British fresh produce farmer, or artisanal food producer?
“Nutbourne Nursery is a family business run by Gary and Jenny Griffiths, based in Pulborough, Sussex – just 54 miles from Central London. They are growers of speciality and heritage tomatoes.
(Image: Box of Nutbourne Nursery heritage tomatoes).
The tomato season generally runs from Spring through to late Autumn. Nutbourne tomatoes are all insecticide-free and only natural predators are used for biological control; pollination is carried out by bees.
Nutbourne Nursery is a leading supplier to the market. They cultivate a huge range of tomatoes such as the bite-sized 'Coeur de Pigeon' ('Pigeon Heart') and larger 'Coeur de Boeuf' ('Ox Heart').
They took a big gamble growing a diverse range of heritage and innovative varieties and it paid off. The team put their heart and soul into it, and it is reflected in how amazing they look and taste. Chefs absolutely love them.
(Image: Gary Griffiths with his tomatoes).
The vines, which can reach 30ft long, are trained up wires which can be moved backwards and forwards allowing for easier harvesting and control of the plants' exposure to light. If you get the chance to visit Nutbourne, I recommend it. It's a fantastic operation.
His highly skilled team pick three times a week, with deliveries to a range of wholesalers on the market, distributors across England and local shops.
(Images: Trained tomatoes and highly skilled team member carefully packing boxes).
Gary drives the tomatoes to London himself. Their core strength really is picking and shipping. They don't have any tomatoes going into cold stores.
Like D.D.P., for Gary and Jenny it is about attention to detail, from beginning to end."
(Image: Highly skilled team member carefully packing boxes).
Author: Meg Morrison
Photography: Seek permission to use from Tom Moggach.
If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02077202211 and ask for Meg or Cassie. We are here to help.