Tesco tomato supplier Glinwell uses every edible fruit to stop food waste

Sam Cannatella & Joe Colletti

Directors of Glinwell

13 Jun 2017

British tomatoes with Italian roots. How our supplier Glinwell supplies Tesco with premium tomatoes and finds ways to reduce food waste.

Glinwell has been supplying fresh produce for Tesco for 40 years. We’ve been a dedicated tomato supplier since 1995 and provide a complete range of conventional and organic British tomatoes. We supply tomatoes all year round from our five UK production sites in Hertfordshire, Essex and Yorkshire, and Glinwell overseas sites and partnerships.

We produce 9,604 tonnes of tomatoes. We grow 15 varieties of tomato from Piccolo, Marzanino and Baby plum to various coloured specialty tomatoes on and off the truss.

Minimising Food Waste

Saving edible fruit from being wasted is very important to us. Our 450 loyal team have a real feeling and passion for what they do. Their care and attention gives us complete control – from the moment we plant a seed to when we deliver to Tesco. It also makes sure that we can trace everything at every stage and pay real care and attention to the crop to prevent fruit being lost.

To stop fruit from being wasted we have found alternative outlets for ‘wonky’ tomatoes that do not make it to the fresh produce shelves due to size or imperfectionsWe work with Tesco partners to supply other tomato based products such as Tesco Deli counter, Tesco salad bowls and Tesco sharing platters.

We are also a partner with food redistribution charity FareShare. Glinwell have been supporting FareShare since June 2016 and we have supplied approximately 15,000 kilos of tomatoes to date. We're working with FareShare to find easier ways to deliver additional tomatoes through their network and help feed even more people in need.

Another outlet for our tomatoes is our own-brand Cannatella & Colletti products. So whatever is not taken by the supermarket we use in our gourmet sauces.

We realised that many of the tomatoes that were currently being used in sauces/food-to-go offerings were lacking in the natural sweetness and intense flavour that our produce has. Carefully nurtured from seed to jar, our tomatoes are vine ripened. Combined with a variety of other simple ingredients, these specialty sauces are 100% natural with no additives or preservativesNone of our tomatoes go to waste.

Keeping Things Sustainable

We don't like to waste water, or dispose it (along with fertiliser residues) into watercourses. So we collect our run-off, sanitise it and recycle it back into the feed. In the same way, we enrich the air in our greenhouses with the useful leftover gases (like CO2) produced by our central heating burners.

Protecting our Toms from pests

We don't think pesticides are good for crops, humans or the environment. We use natural and biological methods to protect our plants from pests and diseases – like parasitic wasps, mini spiders and sticky traps. They work. Just like nature intended.

Sicilian Tomato Expertise


Francesco Cannatella and Salvatore Colletti came to the UK from their native Sicily in 1959 to find work. As growers, back in Cianciana and Burgio, we started growing cucumbers and then tomatoes and peppers from our nurseries in Essex.

Our passion for growing led to us supplying Tesco back in 1977 and we still supply the retailer today from multiple sites in the UK and overseas.

Now Joe Colletti and I continue to run the business delivering great flavoured, fresh salad and vegetable crops into Tesco stores across the UK. We’re pleased to say that the third generation of “Glinwell’s” are now entering the business.

No Time for Waste

We look to stop food from being wasted in all our own operations and support Tesco in their goal in tackling food waste wherever it occurs, from farm to fork.

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