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Matthew McIntyre - McIntyre Fruit

Last of this season's Scottish cherries being packed

The last of this season’s cherries were picked last week at McIntyre Fruit in Blairgowrie, Scotland. Volumes were down this season by around 50% possibly due to wind at pollination time, there was also some heavy rain during the season which caused some fruit at the edges of the tunnels to split, but overall size and quality was good.

“The last fruit is now coming out of the stores and is being packed,” said Matthew McIntyre. “Prices were low at the start of the season but improved into the 2nd half of August. Imports of late Canadian cherries went on later than normal which may have affected the prices. It is disappointing to see imports on shelves which affects sales of domestic fruit. Cherries are brought in in containers and must be sold quickly when the container is opened which means volumes are available and causes orders for homegrown cherries to fall back.”

Matthew said the specs for imported cherries are different to domestic, colouring can be lighter and sizes smaller. The specs for domestic cherries do not take into consideration the challenges faced growing cherries through August and into September.

This season McIntyre’s faced the additional challenge of running the packhouse as well as harvesting the fruit, although it gave them more work Matt said it was good to be able to make it more efficient for packing cherries and it meant he could give his workers more hours when they picked in the morning and worked in the packhouse in the afternoons, meaning they could earn a good wage.

“I’d say the season was okay, we were expecting less volumes and were happy with the fruit size and quality. We planted more trees this year which have done very well considering the hot summer and our trees which are now in their second year will produce the first small volumes next year. We are also looking to lease more land to produce even later cherries, but this is still in the planning and we need to gather data first to see if it is viable. New trees and tunnels are a huge investment, so we are consolidating what we have at the moment.”

For more information:
Matthew McIntyre
McIntyre Fruit Ltd
Tel: +44(0)1250 884212  

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