AWARD WON: Best New Edible Crop Variety
Location: Arbroath, Angus
Managing director: Lochy Porter
Tell me about your key goals/priorities as a business for 2019.
To continue to grow and expand as we have done in the last decade: we shall continue to invest in our in-house breeding programme for our trademarked AVA name and we shall also continue investing in production of berries in the UK and around the world. Most of all we shall continue to do what we do best - breed, grow and pack berries from around the world.
What do you feel will be the biggest challenge for you as a business (or for your sector) in 2019 – and why?
The biggest challenge facing the entire agricultural sector in the UK is the labour shortage and the changes that Brexit will bring. Fruit picking is labour intensive, many of our growers this year were short on labour due to the falling value of the pound, which created a lack of willingness of temporary seasonal workers to travel to the UK and Scotland. Managing increasing costs is also challenging.
What do you regard as the biggest opportunity for you as a business (or for your sector) in 2019 – and why?
There are several for Angus Soft Fruits, forming partnerships across the world, expanding in Europe and making developments in breeding new varieties. We are always striving for improvement of quality, flavour and service level.
What was the best thing about winning a Horticulture Week Business Award for you as a business?
Recognition: The awards are highly regarded among the agricultural community and within the major multiples and retailers in the UK and across Europe. Our win also recognised the dedication and the professionalism of our Angus Soft Fruits' breeding programme for our variety, AVA Star Strawberries for "best new edible crop variety." Winning the award allows us demonstrate to customers, growers and consumers the excellence of our new varieties and breeding programme.
***THE 2019 HORTICULTURE WEEK BUSINESS AWARDS IS OPEN FOR ENTRIES!***
For full details of categories and how to enter, please go to: www.hwbusinessawards.com