Top/Stone Fruit Grower of the Year - Winner Mack in partnership with Charles Highwood

Cherry production is on the up again in the UK, but so too is the need to find something different for the retailer and their customers. Hence Mack together with its specialist cherry grower in Kent, Charles Highwood, decided to trial Rainier, a blush cherry variety known for its superb eating quality but only available as an air-freighted crop from places such as North America and Israel.

Top/Stone Fruit Grower of the Year - Winner Mack in partnership with Charles Highwood
Top/Stone Fruit Grower of the Year - Winner Mack in partnership with Charles Highwood

Blush varieties are typically difficult to grow, with crops at risk from a variety of threats. However, Mack and Charles came to the conclusion that if the Rainier variety was protected in the right way from rub marking, wind damage and bacterial canker, it had the potential to adapt to the British climate and grow successfully. Advice was sought from Rainier experts to implement the ideal growing conditions.

Protective covers and a comprehensive wire trellis system were installed, limiting branch movement and protecting the crops from inclement weather. At harvest the cherries are carefully nurtured and picked by growers who understand the need to treat the fruit carefully, delicately picking and delivering each cherry directly into the final product tray in the orchard.

Last summer, only 18 months after planting, Mack launched the first commercial volume into the Sainsbury's "Taste the Difference" range, supplying 100 per cent of its Rainier cherry supply for a few weeks.

The eating quality and appearance of this first batch has been stunning, far exceeding expectations. Feedback from Sainsbury's and its customers has been excellent. Both Mack and Charles Highwood are looking forward to supplying British Rainier cherries again in summer 2016.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Can growers see off the looming labour crisis by boosting efficiency?

Can growers see off the looming labour crisis by boosting efficiency?

Concern over the availability of seasonal labour to the fresh-produce industry has never been greater.

Will the Government help fruit growers make transition to new crop-protection regime?

Will the Government help fruit growers make transition to new crop-protection regime?

The policy visions for farming recently set out by pro-Brexit ministers Michael Gove and George Eustice suggest a post-Common Agricultural Policy UK agriculture will have still fewer crop-protection chemicals available.

Could the Agriculture Bill refocus farm support towards fresh produce?

Could the Agriculture Bill refocus farm support towards fresh produce?

With a new Agriculture Bill due to pass through Parliament next year, much of what an independent British farming policy could or should look like is currently up for grabs, and the past month has seen an upsurge of publications and speeches feeding into this debate.