Starkey's Fruit, near Southwell, in Nottinghamshire, has been producing soft fruits for 75 years. In recent years, it was growing about 800 tons of soft fruit in polytunnels. But now, rising costs have forced it to stop growing berries. The farm said it has recently lost traditional sources of seasonal workers. According to Suzanna Starkey, wages had gone up and, along with low prices from buyers, this made the business unsustainable.
The farm will remain open and produce other fruit, such as Bramley apples. The farm said it faced unsustainable labor costs in November at the end of the season, as Brexit made finding laborers more difficult. Although the farm then used agency workers from further afield, the costs made this increasingly prohibitive.
Photo source: Starkey's Fruit