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After the leaves have been cooled they await distribution to retailers in a cold-store, where they are maintained at an ideal temperature of 3°C.

This is the start of the cold chain: a temperature controlled distribution process which involves growers and retailers working together to care for the salad leaves and wholehead until it reaches the checkout.

Fresh salad produce such as lettuce should always be transported in refrigerated vehicles. Typically, retailers receive the produce at large regional distribution centres. Here it is kept in similar conditions to the growers’ own cold-store, and it's checked by the customer for the first time for quality and suitability.

By the time our customers do their own quality checks the growers will have already examined each batch of salad several times.

Checks are made regularly on the rig for size, weight, colour and cleanliness throughout the production process – at harvesting, before and after cooling and before it is dispatched to the customers. So, it's no surprise that wholehead lettuce has a reputation for quality and consistency unrivalled in the industry.

Then it’s on to the retailers’ storage facilities where it is ready to be sold to the end consumer.

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