Scotland: Super berry harvest thanks to warm spring

According to experts, the berry yield will be the best in years following the warm spring meaning they are particularly sweet. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries will all be sweeter thanks to a warm April.

Scotland’s raspberry crop alone is worth £12 million a year, and the blackcurrant crop £0.79 million and 70 per cent of the UK's soft fruit is grown in Tayside. Berry Gardens, the UK’s leading berry production group, say crops are up to 10 on the Brix scale - which measures sugar and minerals.

Soft fruit grower of 20 years Anthony Snell said all berries including strawberries and blackberries are set for a bumper year in quality. Mr Snell and his wife Christine farm just under 500 acres of land near Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, and supplies for major supermarkets.

Their farm grows 1,000 tonnes of premium strawberries and more than 300 tonnes of raspberries, alongside blackberries and blueberries.

He is also a Board Director at Berry Gardens, the UK’s leading berry production group, and Chairman of the National Farmer's UnionWest Midlands Horticulture Board.

He said: "Levels have been quite a bit higher this year. We got the planting in at the right time and we had a warmer April so the plants have grown really well. We are very impressed by the quality and flavour of the strawberries at the moment. Last year was a bit of a cool spring but this year has been a nice warm spring so we are at a better quality. The season started on time which means the berries are looking very good and high quality - we are positive about that. I am hopeful the season will be a positive one. People do really understand that healthy fruits are really, really important."

He added that British support for locally-grown soft fruits is above what he has ever seen and that 'demand is higher than supply at the moment.'


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