The World's Finest
Onions are the only truly international vegetable, with an ever increasing demand. On this page you can find the answers to some frequently asked questions about onions.
10,000 hectares. Main growing regions are Lincolnshire, East & West Anglia, Bedfordshire and Kent.
Over 40 million tonnes produced annually means more onions are now consumed in the world than any other vegetable. USA, China, India and Russia are the main production areas – 26% of the world’s onions are grown in China.
The onion is a member of the Lily family. The common onion is known as Allium Cepa; in Latin Allium means garlic and cepa means onion – the edible bulb of a plant belonging to the botanical genus Alliaceae (or onion family). It’s lifespan is biennial.
The main onion crop is drilled in March and April, harvested in late August and September, and can be sold out of ambient, cold stores and controlled atmosphere stores until the following July. A proportion of the crop is grown from sets or modules in order to advance the harvest date into early August when the weather can be guaranteed.
The onion tops are removed in the field at harvest time and the bulbs are immediately transported to specialist stores to remove any weather risks. Blowing high volumes of air, at a predetermined temperature, through the crop then dries the onions. After this initial drying, the warm air is recirculated through the onions at a carefully controlled humidity to complete the drying process, and produce the golden brown colour on the outer skins.