Meet Our Herbs Supplier

We talk to Tom O’Hanlon, herb grower and owner of O’Hanlon Herbs based in Glenealy, Co. Wicklow. The business was established in 1988, and O’Hanlon Herbs have supplied fresh herbs to Tesco for nearly 20 years.

Tom herbs

"In the beginning parsley and thyme were the traditional and popular herbs,’ Says Tom. ‘However, since then there has been a turnaround in eating habits and cooking at home, so consumers have been much more experimental with flavours and cookery. When we started, Coriander was considered a touch exotic but is now our most popular herb.

"Tesco have worked in partnership with us to develop our quality and Irish grown provenance. With their support we now have 2 dedicated cut herb growers based in Ireland and between us we can grow many herbs over a long season both indoors and in field production.

"We have also grown and developed the potted herb category with Tesco, to provide customers with an alternative to cut herbs. These are grown in the state of the art glasshouse on our farm in Wicklow, where we can replicate ideal growing conditions, even in the middle of winter. Tesco’s technical support and ongoing quality procedure have helped us achieve consistency in a product, which when we started, we were only able to supply seasonally.

"We are proud to say all our potted herbs are 100% Irish, and grown locally all year round.

"We have made recent investments in automation of the seeding process in our potted herb production, which has meant our product is much more consistent on shelf and for the customer. In addition, we have significantly reduced our carbon footprint by heating our glasshouse with woodchip from local forestry.

"Supplying Tesco with fresh Irish herbs in season and Irish potted herbs all year has been achieved through the commitment and passion of our Irish herb growers and our team on the farm in Wicklow. Tesco’s commitment to local supply and Irish quality production has meant we could continually re-invest in processes that we believe has improved our product offer over the years."