James Dyson to grow berries for UK market all-year round

James Dyson's farming company has announced it will construct a six hectare glasshouse to grow strawberries year round for the UK market.

The inventor's agricultural business, Beeswax Dyson Farming, has joined forces with co-op Berry Gardens, with an aim to introduce fruit to the market from 2021.

The partnership has been announced due to the companies’ shared sustainability goals, specifically using technology to minimise environmental impacts.

A greenhouse facility is now in the process of being built at Beeswax's site in Carrington, Lincolnshire.

According to Dyson's company, strawberries would be grown using heat and light generated by anaerobic digester.

The same digester would then convert farm waste into an organic fertiliser that provides nutrition for the glasshouse crops.

Co2 can also be extracted from the biogas and used in the glasshouse, and the LED lighting system would allow the growing of berries all year round, reducing the UK’s reliance on imported produce.

Richard Williamson, managing director of Beeswax Dyson Farming, said the firm has an aim to produce 'high quality food in the way tomorrow’s market will demand'.

“This means we’re building a facility which is forward thinking in terms of size, complexity, sophistication and green credentials in the UK horticulture sector," he said.

The new Beeswax Dyson Farming facility is currently under construction with steelwork beginning in June 2020, with an aim to produce fruit by May 2021.

The new facility also includes a 1,500sq m packing and coldstore facility where strawberries would be housed and made ready for collection and delivery, as well as office facilities.

Nick Allen, chief executive officer at Berry Gardens, said the idea of supplying British strawberries year round was 'very exciting'.

“I can absolutely see New Year/New You strawberry campaigns, Christmas strawberries, Valentine’s strawberries and Easter strawberries.

"When you think how people love the taste of a good strawberry, and how good they are from a health perspective, this feels like a win for literally everyone.”

It comes after the Sunday Times Rich List listed James Dyson as the wealthiest person in the UK for the first time.

Farming continues to be the main principal activity for Beeswax, which comprises 35,000 acres of land throughout Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

The company also looks to energy for diversified income and turnover from this source has increased compared to 2017.

Source: Farming UK