of UK growers supply the market between September and
February, but this is normally a period of relatively
low prices. In 1989 Marshalls bought the farm and set
out to provide year round continuity of supply for outlets.
several mistakes were made. One was to reply on ambient
storage, another was poor variety of choice.
soon realized that to supply the high priced April to
July markets a cold store was needed to keep produce
in good shape.
1992 Marshalls refrigerated an existing small building
to provide 400t of capacity. The following year Marshalls
put up purpose built 1,000t cold store.
a third of the crop is sold, some is stored in under
ambient conditions until the end of January, and the
rest in the big cold store where it is held at 0•c.
The key to long-term storage without unacceptable losses
is to handle the crop like eggs at harvest. After grading,
produce is packed in nets, palletised and pre-cooled
is divided into six separate bays, each holding a months
supply in cabbage boxes, which hold about 800kg (16cwt)
of cabbage, stacked five high.
Each bay can be unloaded without disrupting the others.
The last of the stored crop is put down the farms peeling
and grading line in late July or early August.
February to October we have storage space available
as we empty our seven cold stores one a month till August.
first of the new seasons crop follows in a seamless
continuity of supply it will then be cut and cold stored
and will not be sold until it has been allowed to be
chilled and conditioned, and then it will be peeled
and packed to get a true white & red cabbage with
a good shelf life.