Cordial producer meets elderflower harvest demand within two weeks

Leicestershire cordial producer Belvoir Fruit Farms has surpassed its target of fresh elderflowers within just two weeks of its planned month-long harvesting season.

Demand for its elderflower cordial soared by 15% in the grocery sector during the coronavirus lockdown, the drinks firm said.

The company estimated it needed between 15 and 20 tonnes of picked elderflowers during June to last until the 2021 harvest.

A call was issued for volunteers across Leicestershire to lend their support to pick the volume of product needed.

The local community responded, and within two weeks the company recorded 23 tonnes of picked elderflowers at its Bottesford-based factory.

Belvoir said this was 'more than enough' to produce the drink for the next 12 months.

As a result, the company has now closed its harvest drop-off at the factory in record time.

Pev Manners, managing director of Belvoir Fruit Farms, said this was a 'year like no other': "We’ve been blown away by the willingness from the local community to still lend their support to this year’s harvest."

Strict Covid-19 social distancing measures were in place at the start of the harvest, Mr Manners explained.

“I think it’s fair to say that – given the circumstances surrounding this year’s harvest and social distancing measures – we were cautious in our tonnage targets, but to not only meet it but exceed it in the space of two weeks is humbling."

Elderflowers used to create the cordials are comprised of both organic elderflowers from the 60-acres of company-owned plantations and from wild hedgerows across the county.

Source: Farming UK