Over the last 20 years the supply of 'home grown British Berries has been an unparalleled success story
At last week's Fruit Focus Nicholas Marston Chairman, British Berry Growers explained the reasons behind the re-branding of British Summer Fruits into the new brand of BRITISH BERRY GROWERS
"British Summer Fruits" to "British Berry Growers"
British Summer Fruits was the industry body representing 95% of all British grown berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cherries) purchased by the UK's supermarkets and retailers. Our members also supply a large proportion of berries imported into the UK
Fund and manage annual PR campaign, 'Love Fresh Berries'
- Act as a spokesperson on behalf of the industry
- Act as a lobbying body to DEFRA, the Home Office, national media, communities and local government
- Provide issues management support for the industry
- Collaborate with overseas exporters
- Maintain proactive relationships with all major UK supermarket
Value of UK berries
- Around 3,000 full-time employees + 30,000 seasonal roles
- An industry with over £700 million turnover at farm gate
- Key contributor to rural economy in many parts of the UK
- British berry growers between them contribute at least £150 million to the UK economy and to their local economies through
tax paid by them and their staff, and through purchases and services required and bought in, many locally
Into the future?
The English Apple Man Comments: A lack of harvest labour has been an issue since Brexit as rules changed overnight. This has been exacerbated by the pandemic and consolidated by the war in Ukraine as that country was the source of much of the labour recruited for UK growers!
British Berry Industry Challenges
- Cost of production inflation at least +15% from 2021 to 2022
- Labour availability
- Labour quality productivity and thus net cost
- Critical Research and Science Support post the AHDB
- To ensure growers are at the heart of what we do
- To expand our work to include R&D
- To excite on-going political support
- Our Love Fresh Berries inspiring consumer campaign continues, with a strong focus on British berries in their season
- Our liaison with retailers will expand to include more insights direct from grower
British Berry Growers | Vision
- A thriving British berry industry applauded internationally for its ethical and environmental leadership, growing delicious and
nutritious berries for everyone in the UK and beyond
- The heart of the rural economy and recognised as a key contributor to UK food self-sufficiency
British Berry Growers | Mission
- British Berry Growers is dedicated to British season, fresh berry production providing 100% of the UK's needs, and for industry exports to be 50% bigger than British volumes by 2035
- We are a campaigning organisation seeking to shape Government and consumer understanding, defining our future in a proactive way
- We connect, inform, and represent all U.K. berry growers, assisting and inspiring knowledge exchange and environmental and ethical
This summer, National Berry Month is our key campaign focus for PR and social.
- In addition to this, we will implement campaigns around the start of season for each of our four berries. Each campaign will
comprise a press release to media, facts and insight, recipe content and a focus across social media channels.
- Underpinning all our activity this summer is our 'always on' press office role. This includes capitalising on key calendar dates to
maximise recipe coverage, reactive opportunities and trends to drive consumer purchase intent for British berries.
- Alongside this, we implement a full social media programme comprising content creation and influencer activity in order to
increase awareness for British berries.
The English Apple Man Comments: In the space of 25 years Strawberry production has changed from beds on the ground and open to the elements, before tunnels over beds became the next step; next in the progression - primitive table tops, "I saw my first table tops made of wooden stakes with a board on top supporting grow bags. The standard today is a table top system with either grow bags or pots supported by metal gutters. The advanced system is table tops under glass, while vertical growing is now being trialled.
Below: left; unprotected Strawberry production and right; Strawberries on raised beds under tunnels
Below: standard table top system and right; table top production in glasshouses
Below: Vertical strawberry growing is catching on!
Berry production has been completely transformed, Strawberries may be the headline act, but Raspberry, Blueberry and Blackberry growing systems have also advanced dramatically.
The breeding of new improved varieties has matched the changes in growing systems and delivered high quality fruit for the consumer.
That is all for this week
The English Apple Man
Click on: FRUIT FOCUS