Leek-growing season ‘on track’

THE Island’s leek-growing season is ‘on track’, a Jersey farmer has said following warnings of a possible shortage elsewhere in the British Isles.

Tom Quenault, farm manager. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30332358)
Tom Quenault, farm manager. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30332358)

In the UK, leek supply is said to have almost run out due to a 15% surge in demand, as more people cook from home during the pandemic, coupled with last spring’s colder temperatures and subsequent smaller crops. However, Tom Quénault – farm manager of Woodside Farms, the Island’s biggest leek grower – said that the Island’s leek sales ‘are on track’ this year and ‘consequently there is no shortage.’

‘We have seen an uplift in demand [for leeks] from retail supermarkets, but a downturn in demand from hospitality,’ he said. ‘More people have been buying leeks for cooking at home rather than restaurants to eat out. So the net result [in demand] is probably the same.’

‘Hospitality has been a disaster for us,’ said Mr Quénault, who outlined that sales opportunities had been missed as a result of restaurants closing due to Covid-19.

‘If hospitality had been open, it would have been quite an exciting year for produce. We can sell all of our leeks, but we will have to export a surplus. Everything is grown with the target of going to the local market so that is what we are trying to achieve. We are keen for more people to eat more locally.’

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