Category Archives: Uncategorized

EU imported 3% more produce from third countries

According to the latest EU statistics, imports of fruit and vegetables by the block from third countries increased by three per cent during the first half of 2018.  During the period €7,745 million of fruit and €1,576 million of vegetables were imported, with fruit showing a 6.5 per cent rise, while vegetables actually fell 9 per cent compared to the same period the previous year. The largest sources of fruit were South Africa (920,464 tonnes), Costa Rica (816,291 tonnes), Chile (738,648 tonnes) and Morocco (618,753 tonnes), and the main products bananas, pineapples and grapes. The most imported vegetable crops were tomatoes, and ‘pod vegetables’ such as green beans, with the largest source by a significant margin being Morocco, followed by Turkey and Egypt. Photo Credit: pxhere The post EU imported 3% more produce from third countries appeared first on Hort News on 21 Feb 2019.

Aldi sells first UK strawberries

Aldi’s Bridgend store has become the first retailer in the UK to sell home-grown strawberries this season, priced at £2.79 for a 227 gram punnet. The crop was grown in a glasshouse at Springfield Nursery near Cowbridge in Wales, and the first hand-picked crop was delivered on Friday 15 February, a year earlier than last year. In a statement the retailer said, “thanks to advancements in glasshouse technology meaning customers can enjoy British strawberries earlier than ever before and for longer.” “At Aldi, we know our customers look forward to the arrival of British strawberries as it signals the start of summer,” added Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Corporate Buying. “We’re delighted to have brought this date forward to mark the start of spring. Aldi is 100 per cent committed to supporting British suppliers and it’s great to be the first grocer to offer hand-picked, British-grown strawberries this year.” Photo Credit: Pexels The post Aldi sells first UK strawberries appeared first on Hort News on 21 Feb 2019.

New global cherry initiative announced

The formation of a new organisation to promote the consumption of cherries globally has been agreed by some of the leading producers at Fruit Logistica. The countries, which include Argentina, Chile, Greece, Hungary, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the United States, met during the event in Berlin and agreed that the new organisation would facilitate consumption and share information. The first meeting of the group will take place at the Global Cherry Summit in April, but it has already identified a need to commission research into cherry’s nutritional properties with a view to incorporating approved health claims in future marketing campaigns.  Over the last ten years cherry volumes have doubled while values have increased three-fold, and the sector is now worth an estimated $2.5 billion a year. Photo Credit: pixino The post New global cherry initiative announced appeared first on Hort News on 21 feb 2019.

UK working to keep UK seed potato exports

Representatives of Scotland’s seed potato industry have used the recent Fruit Logistica event in Berlin to make sure that key markets such as Egypt, Morocco and Israel understand that seed quality and production standards will be maintained after Brexit. Sandy McGowan of Cygnet PB told The Courier, “We’re an island nation, producing most of our seed potatoes for export in the north of Scotland. This means our disease pressure is lower, our bacteria issues are less and we have expert knowledge and logistics for our Scottish and English growers to call on.” His sentiments were echoed by Rob Burns of AHDB, who said, “Countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Israel are some of the largest importers of British seed potatoes. As a result, AHDB, along with Scottish Government and industry, have to ensure the high health and quality of GB seed is appreciated by government and plant health officials in those markets, so that we continue to be their favoured supplier. “That’s why we’re to host delegations from countries like Egypt, so they can see the crop in the field, meet our exporters, visit Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, and get an in-depth understanding of our industry’s commitment to quality.” Photo Credit: Fruit Logistica The post UK working to keep UK seed potato exports appeared first on Hort News on 21 Feb 2019.

Guidance on plant inspections in event of no-deal Brexit

Defra has updated its guidance (first published in December) on how plant inspections will operate at the Place of First Arrival in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The updated Manual for the approval and operation of Plant Health Inspection Facilities at Place of First Arrival (PoFA) – EU Exit no-deal scenario, published by the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA), provides information on how facilities can become approved as PoFAs by the APHA and/or Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate (PHSI) and how approved facilities must operate, including receiving and storing plant material from non-EU countries in order to prevent the introduction of plant pests and diseases into England and Wales. Facilities that comply with all the standards and terms and conditions set out in the manual will have a full approval valid for three years. The document can be found on the Defra website at Photo Caption: New guidance sets out receiving instructions to prevent the spread of notifiable pests and diseases such as the Citrus Longhorned beetle Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons The post Guidance on plant inspections in event of no-deal Brexit appeared first on Hort News on 21 February 2019.

Albert Bartlett celebrates birthday with packaging revamp

Potato supplier Albert Bartlett is to celebrate its 70thanniversary with a new ‘retro’ packaging design for its Rooster potato range and a customer competition featuring an exclusive dinner cooked by Chef Michel Roux Jr at Le Gavroche in London.

Albert Bartlett & Sons (Airdrie) Ltd, was founded by Albert Bartlett in 1948 when he moved to Coatbridge from Clydeside and invested in £30 in an old water boiler and cast iron bath to set up a beetroot boiling operation. In 1957 the company moved to Airdrie, and instigated a number of notable ‘firsts,’ including the first pre-packed carrots and the launch of the original ‘Scotty Brand’.

In 1978 the company began to supply fresh carrots, onions and potatoes to various supermarkets, with further evolution coming in 2007 when the potato and carrot operations were split into separate companies. Today Albert Bartlett supplies a range of fresh, prepared and frozen potato products from sites across the UK.

Albert Bartlett head of marketing Michael Jarvis says, “Albert Bartlett remains a family-run company and we are delighted with the manner in which it has grown from selling beetroot to the local market to be a leading supplier of fresh and frozen potatoes. As we now diversify into chilled potato products in our seventieth year, we look forward to continued success. We believe Albert would be very proud.”

Photo Caption: Winners of the anniversary competition on bags of Rooster potatoes will enjoy dinner at Le Gavroche in London.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The post Albert Bartlett celebrates birthday with packaging revamp appeared first on Hort News on 30 August 2018.

BerryWorld creates Spanish subsidiary

The BerryWorld group has expanded its PrepWorld subsidiary to Spain, creating what it says is a fresh-cut fruit supplier with a ‘distinctly Spanish twist and flair.’

The new Valencia-based company is a joint venture with Spanish soft fruit grower and exporter Surexport Compañia Agraria. It will be headed up by general manager Pepe Morant, who has extensive experience of fresh produce in both Spain and the UK, most recently as General Manager of Del Monte Spain.

“We have been evaluating the potential of establishing a Spanish prepared fruit business with our partners at Surexport for a number of years,” said BerryWorld’s managing director Ben Olins. “We believe that the factors that have made PrepWorld successful in the UK, a focus on quality, innovation and high technical standards, will work well in the Spanish market.”

Surexport managing director Andres Morales added: “With the expertise of our partners in a more mature market for prep and our knowledge in production and premium varieties, we will bring delicious, high-quality, healthy products to the Spanish consumer.”

Photo Credit: BerryWorld

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Scottish farm debt hits record level

Scottish farmers owe more money to banks than at any time since records began in 1972, according to a report.

Outstanding loans to Scottish farms were more than £2.3 billion by the end of May, up £113 million (or 5%) on the previous period. Other finance, such as hire purchase agreements, family loans and other borrowing could account for a further £1.1 billion according to estimates.

Some commentators have questioned whether widely reported delays in farm payments by the Scottish Government have contributed to the figures, but Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing tried to put a positive spin on the figures: “It is vital that Scottish farmers can continue to access capital to invest in their businesses. These statistics show that banks are still lending to farmers, which is a sure sign of confidence in the sector,” he said.

“However, with many farmers relying on subsidies for a large part of their income, we must be wary of farmers getting into excessive and unmanageable debt.”

There is a similar pattern to agricultural borrowing in the rest of the UK, with figures from the Bank of England showing that in May 2017, the UK agricultural, field sports and forestry sector had an outstanding debt of £18.5 billion, up 57% since 2010.

The post Scottish farm debt hits record level appeared first on Hort News on 28 Sept 2017.

Cobrey Farms cut their first asparagus

Cobrey Farms and Wye Valley Produce cut their first spears of English asparagus last week, around the usual period for the start of the season.

Cobrey Farms’ Chris Chinn explained that while the timing was later than last year, “Last year was exceptionally early; this is more the norm for the first cut.” The season begins with limited volumes of green asparagus, but as volumes pick up into April, organic crops, as well as purple and white varieties will become available.

The demand for this most seasonal of UK crops is expected to be as strong as ever, with little or no competition in the market from imported produce.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons.

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