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Jersey Jewel tomatoes are the pride of Island

Date: 02/06/2006 | Posted by John Garton
A Jersey grower has developed a new variety of tomato which is being sold in Tesco and Tesco Express stores in the UK. Harmony Produce has named the vine tomato Jersey Jewel. It is already on sale in Tesco stores throughout the UK and is now available from a small number of local shops too.

Harmony has been producing tomatoes in Jersey for nearly 40 years. The family-run business dedicates five acres of land in St Clement just for growing tomatoes. The Hervés put their success down to Jersey’s very mild climate, position on the Gulf Stream and very good levels of light, which all help to give the plants the sunshine they need to produce the Jersey Jewel.

The Jersey Jewel is produced between March and November, and will be available in all UK Tesco stores at the peak of the season. The unusually cold spring meant a slow start to the season, but the tomatoes have already received acclaim in the UK press, including in The Independent, the BBC Good Food magazine, The Grower, The Grocer and Easy Living magazine.

Eleanor Hervé is the daughter of farmer-grower Kevin Hervé who started the business in the 1960s. She explained that as specialist tomato growers, Harmony Produce practise environmentally friendly techniques to ensure their tomatoes reach consumers in the best possible condition. “We use bumble bees to pollinate the crop, while other insects are used to keep glasshouse pests at bay. In addition, Harmony recycles all water and feed to ensure there is no pollution or waste. This knowledge and experience has been passed down through the generations. My dad has always been passionate about the quality of his crops, and getting the best tomatoes to his customer.”

And Eleanor is so convinced by the quality of the Jersey Jewel and the Island’s unique growing conditions that she recently told Tesco: “We are proud to challenge any tomato grower in the world to beat us on taste and texture – even the Italians will sit up and think!”

Ken Syvret MBE, chairman of the Genuine Jersey Products Association, congratulates Harmony Produce on its success in establishing sales in the national market. He said: “It is fantastic news that a Jersey farming family is exporting its expertise, and its quality tomato, to the UK. Genuine Jersey has a huge variety of members and an extremely diverse range of local products make up the exciting range. Our logo is becoming a byword for local quality and people increasingly look for it so that they can support businesses within their Island.