After securing a contract with the multiple retailer, food producer Scotty Brand will supply over 200 tonnes of Perthshire-grown strawberries to Asda stores across the UK this summer.
Scotty Brand is a division of Airdrie-based Albert Bartlett, the UK’s leading supplier of potatoes, sources its strawberries from Bruce Farms which has been growing the soft fruit for 25 years. It has been able to increase the amount of strawberries grown this year as a result of the Asda deal which will see 200 stores sell 300 gr punnets from Sunday.
Despite fears by some in the food and drink industry that soft fruit crops might be left to rot if European seasonal workers were unable to travel to the UK because of the coronavirus pandemic, Geoff Bruce, director of Bruce Farms, confirmed that the business had secured a mix of British and migrant pickers for this year’s season.
“The pandemic has not impacted on production at Bruce Farms albeit a great amount of additional time, resource and money has been spent on protecting the business from Covid-19,” said Mr Bruce.
The climate this year has been perfect for growing strawberries, Mr Bruce added. “Strawberries take about 75 days to ripen in Scotland compared to about 60 days in England and 45 days in Spain,” he pointed out. “This is all down to the Scottish weather and climate. The longer the ripening, the better the flavour.”
Scotty Brand strawberries can be in stores within 24 hours as Bruce Farms has an on-site packing hall allowing the fruit to be picked, packed, and distributed quickly.