Growers celebrate British Tomato Fortnight 2024 - Fruit & Vine

Growers celebrate British Tomato Fortnight 2024

The British Tomato Fortnight is back for 2024. This annual two-week celebration champions the deliciously juicy and marvellously nutritious tomatoes grown in Britain. 

The British Tomato Fortnight is back for 2024. British Tomato Growers Association champions tomatoes grown in Britain. 

This year’s celebration started on 27th May and will last until 9th June 2024. 

The organiser, British Tomato Growers Association, said that the campaign focuses on a few key elements, including the health benefits, versatility, sustainability and seasonality of tomatoes.

Choose British tomatoes 

Their spokesperson said: “World events mean that British tomatoes and other homegrown produce are more important than ever.  

“But this year, with one thing and another, many fruit and veg growers across the UK are facing pressures like labour shortages, supply delays and skyrocketing energy prices. 

“British growers are working tirelessly with retailers to keep up with demand for fresh, juicy British tomatoes. 

“To help support the industry and the amazing growers who produce British toms throughout the year, we ask you to keep an extra special eye out for British tomatoes in your local supermarket and please tag us on social media if you spot any in store.” 

READ MORE: Growers encouraged to take part in British Tomato Fortnight campaign

Brimming with vitamins 

Tomatoes originate from the Andes, growing wild in what is now Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador.  

The Incas and Aztecs were the first to cultivate tomatoes in as early as 700 AD, and they’ve since grown to be one of the most popular fruits on the planet.  

Tomatoes are not only delicious, but they also have a lot of health benefits. They contain a range of vitamins, such as A, C and E. 

Working together, this powerful trio helps keep skin, bones and teeth in good condition, as well as boosting the immune system and helping to maintain good gut health. 

Tomatoes are also a fantastic source of flavonoids and carotenoids, antioxidants that can help fight off free radicals, as well as containing a host of other compounds that are linked to significant health benefits. 

Are tomatoes even healthier cooked?

On one hand, cooking may reduce contents of vitamin C and flavonoids. On the other hand, cooking tomatoes can actually boost levels of lycopene availability, the cancer-fighting compound we mentioned above.  

That is because when tomatoes are cooked, the heat breaks down their thick cell walls and makes the lycopene more accessible to the body. Adding some olive oil when cooking tomatoes increases the amount of lycopene. 

So, to cook or not to cook – what’s the answer? Eat plenty of tomatoes, both raw and cooked. 

The British Tomato Growers Association has shared a range of healthy recipes with tomatoes. Check out them here

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