Blueberry market growth tail-off forecast

The UK blueberry market has already reached maturity, according to David Trehane, managing director at the Dorset Blueberry Company (DBC).

"Plants have been extremely fast-moving over the last five-to-eight years. But a lot of people have enough of them now," Trehane told Grower.

"We have gone from around 12ha to 300ha, but the general feeling is that we are where we should be for the foreseeable future."

He added: "Supply is meeting demand and will keep up with it over the next five years. And there is still a lot of fruit coming in from Poland."

As a plant supplier, the company is also limited by the longevity of the bushes, Trehane explained. "We are still cropping from bushes planted in 1959. But for pot-grown, which most UK commercial plants are, you expect around 20 years."

Polish breeders have recently come up with a new early, cold-tolerant variety, Hannah's Choice, that is suitable for commercial growing in Britain, said Trehane. It is available from DBC, he added.

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