Producer call to promote Scottish blueberries

July 20, 2020

As the first of this season’s blueberry crop comes on stream, growers say consumers are used to buying the fruit for breakfast year-round and don’t discriminate between Peruvian berries which are always on the shelves, and the more flavoursome seasonal fruit which is now widely grown in Scotland.

James Porter, whose first punnets of blueberries are now on sale in his East Scryne farm shop, said the industry is calling for British Summer Fruits, which represents growers, and supermarkets to do more to help consumers differentiate between fresh local fruit and imported produce.


He said: “Supermarkets stock British strawberries during the summer season – they wouldn’t get away with importing from abroad. We’re now asking them to take a similar approach with blueberries.


“Scottish growers managed to find a window of opportunity with this crop and blueberries tick a lot of boxes for us as they come on stream towards the end of the summer so extend the season for pickers, but it would be a brave grower who puts in more blueberries just now with concerns over returns and labour availability.”


Laurencekirk grower Ross Mitchell agreed.


“We have built a strong industry in Scotland but we need more education on the quality and seasonality of what we’re producing,” he said.


“I hope retailers will support a campaign for British and Scottish fruit as Covid has led people to focus on a healthy local diet.”


Meanwhile, Scottish strawberry producers have enjoyed bumper crops and strong demand for produce this season, with supplies slightly short for the market in the last few weeks.


They also remain optimistic the English market will hold up better than usual in August when people are predicted to holiday at home rather than overseas.


Scottish cherries are expected to come on stream within the next week.


Source: The Courier

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