UK blackberries take market share from Dutch suppliers

Blackberries - image:HW
Blackberries - image:HW

With this season's blackberries coming into harvest, figures from the Dutch Horticultural Production Board show Dutch exports of the fruit have halved in recent years, due primarily to import substitution by British growers.

Dutch exports to the UK, formerly its largest market, fell from 323 tonnes in 2008 to 72 tonnes in 2012, a fall of 78 per cent.

Berry Gardens managing director Nicholas Marston explained: "The Dutch used to supply more late-season glasshouse-grown Loch Ness, but UK growers growing Chester in polytunnels have taken much of that niche."

UK blackberry production has increased 26 per cent over the last 12 months, he added, with Berry Gardens, Berry World and several independent growers contributing to the rise. 

He added: "We start picking Chester next week, and they are looking good." 

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