Farms in Worcestershire that grow thousands of tonnes of healthy fruit and veg every year have teamed up to celebrate the World Cup and raise money for Heart Research UK.
Growers United for charity (FC), featuring horticulture and agriculture businesses from across the Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire and beyond, are hosting their annual football tournament in July.
Created by Bal Padda, commercial director at local farm Vicarage Nurseries, in 2012, Growers United FC has seen support from Wychavon District Council and legendary players from West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool Football Clubs.
Vito Mauro, CEO of Growers United FC, said: “Before Growers United began, there was no real dialogue or co-operation between growers in our area. The world we live in today is multi-cultural and sport is a fantastic way to bring people together and raise money for a cause close to all our hearts. Everyone has been so supportive.
“I’ve known so many people who have had either heart attacks or suffer from heart conditions. I had to do something to help and raise money for Heart Research UK.”
Vicarage Nurseries is just one farm in the Evesham area producing fruit and veg. Beginning in 1996, they now produce 1200 tonnes of strawberries each year – the equivalent of 4 million strawberry punnets for major UK retailers.
The first match will see ‘strawberries vs tomatoes’, as Vicarage Nurseries take on R & L Holt, a tomato grower in the Evesham area, on Wednesday 4 July at Evesham United FC.
Their World Cup tournament will then see other horticulture and agriculture businesses team up to play each other on Saturday 7 July, with the final taking place on Sunday 8 July, kick off at 3.30pm.
Tickets are free and the first 200 people will get fresh picked punnet of strawberries on the 4 July and on the 8 July for the final
John Lloyd, Regional Executive at Heart Research UK, said: “We all know how important eating your 5-a-day and exercising is to living a healthy lifestyle.
“Bal has done something really special. By creating an opportunity for so many people from various countries, cultures and religions to come together for Heart Research UK, he’s shown that there are many more ways to look after your heart.”
For more information about Grower's United, including how to attend, visit growersunitedfc.com