Christopher Chinn of Cobrey Farms

Christopher Chinn of Cobrey Farms

Pam Lloyd PR presented its Grow Your Own plans for the 2010 asparagus PR and marketing campaign to the industry at European asparagus symposium Euro Asper 2010 last week.

The PR campaign, funded by the Asparagus Growers’ Association (AGA), as well as Kitchen Garden Produce, Barfoots, Flamingo, Mack, Exotic Farm Produce, Wealmoor and S&A Davies, has run for eight years, in which time the percentage of households purchasing asparagus in the UK has increased from three to 14 per cent.

Pam Lloyd told delegates at the event, hosted by the AGA in Coventry, that encouraging consumers to grow their own asparagus will strengthen the link between producers and end users. It will also fuel demand when UK growers inevitably need to supplement their own crop.

Lloyd said: “Some consumers have limited understanding of how their flavour-packed spears arrive on their plates. British asparagus is the best, tastiest and most nutritious available, but few people grow asparagus, despite the national obsession with grow your own.”

The campaign hopes to prove that time and patience is required to grow asparagus, as is the acceptance of high quality but low yield, which justifies why asparagus is a premium line.

A step-by-step Handy Growing Guide supporting asparagus growers is available to download at

Ross-on-Wye-based Cobrey Farms, which produces Wye Valley-branded asparagus for Marks & Spencer through Flamingo, as well as supplying wholesalers, shared its first crop grown under tunnels at the event. The company began cutting spears in the third week of March for the local market and expects to supply M&S with major volumes by mid-April.