Food firms help to bring cheer

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Two Lancashire firms have been boosting the offering of high street giant M&S.

Lancashire-based Huntapac Produce has been working around the clock during its busiest time of year to provide high quality parsnips to M&S customers for the festive season.

And cheesemaker Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses is offering M&S customers a unique Cornish cheddar in the style of a festive wreath.

Huntapac’s parsnips are grown for M&S on sandy and fertile land in Tarleton and are available in M&S stores around the UK.

The fourth generation family-owned business supplies M&S with fresh vegetables all year round and started working with the retailer 37 years ago.

Huntapac employs more than 350 people from the local area, producing 2,500 acres of carrots and parsnips, along with 500 acres of salads and brassicas, such as cabbages and cauliflowers, each year.

Stuart Lee, national account manager at Huntapac Produce, said: “Christmas lunch wouldn’t be the same without a parsnip or two and here at Huntapac we’re working around the clock to meet demand in time for Christmas Day.

“Our special techniques mean we grow the highest quality vegetables for M&S customers and we’re very proud that our parsnips will be enjoyed by families up and down the country this Christmas.”

An M&S spokesman said: “We expect parsnips sales to be bigger than ever this Christmas. They’ve always been a festive favourite but parsnips are becoming more and more popular as they’re such a versatile vegetable – enjoyed glazed, steamed or added to a warming soup. And not only are they a delicious accompaniment for festive gatherings, they are also packed with Vitamin C so make for a healthy addition to your festive plate.”

Meanwhile, Butler’s Cornish Cove Festive Wreath has been specially developed for M&S customers. Combining soft cheese with Cornish Cove Medium Mature Cheddar and dried cranberries and apricots, the wreath design will act as a cheeseboard centrepiece.

The Longridge family-run business has been supplying cheese to M&S since 1993.

It now supplies M&S with a range of 16 cheeses, proving just how popular its products are with customers.

Bronwen Bamber, new rroduct development manager at Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses, said: “Our family has been making cheese in Lancashire since 1932 and we pride ourselves on producing cheese by hand, using the highest quality of milk provided by Lancashire farmers.

“We have a fantastic relationship with M&S and have a shared passion for food, quality and innovation.”