The Scots family with 40 million Brussels sprouts

With just a week to go until the nation celebrates Christmas, a Scottish farmer has both the honour and pressure of supplying the nation with over 40 million Brussels sprouts as the exclusive prepared sprout supplier at Christmas to M&S.

Peter Stirling owns the 400 acre Seahills Farm, located a few miles from Arbroath.

He has been supplying sprouts to M&S for the last 19 years and at Christmas time his 100-strong team harvest 25% more sprouts to the retailer than the rest of the year.

Peter said: ‘We work day and night for a twelve day period leading up to Christmas to process and package the sprouts for customers up and down the UK. It can get very hectic but sprouts are one of the heroes of the traditional Christmas dinner and my team and I are humbled that M&S customers across the country get to enjoy our product on one of the biggest days of the year.’

The sprouts that Peter and his team produce offer a milder and sweeter tasting product than standard sprouts.

The unique location of Seahills Farm which benefits from being next to the sea offers a distinctive growing environment which results in making the sprouts healthier and blemish free which means they have double the shelf life of standard sprouts.

Katie Squire, product developer from M&S, said: ‘Producing a good sprout isn’t easy. It takes the perfect combination of healthy, nutrient-rich soil, water, a perfect climate, protection against pests and diseases as well as skilled labour to grow and harvest it when it is at its best.

‘As well as Peter’s attention to quality, sustainability is at the heart of everything Peter and his team does. All plant waste material is spread back on to the land as a green fertiliser and wind power is something he’s looking at doing in future to reduce his reliance on fossil fuels.’

As well as ready prepared sprouts, Peter also supplies M&S stores with sprout trees and exclusive Flower Sprouts – a delicious combination of kale and sprouts.