UK cranberry production boosted by growing technique

A new growing technique being pioneered in Kent means that Britain could soon become a major producer of cranberries.

Most cranberries are grown in boggy areas of North America and eastern Europe. As the berries grow, they swell up with air. At harvest time, the ground is then deliberately flooded, causing the berries to float on the water surface from which they are easy to pick.

Not only is this method impractical in most parts of Britain, but the water can also hasten decay in the fruit.

But Redeva, the research division of berry producer Total Worldfresh, has been pioneering a dry harvesting system, under which the fruit is grown in pots on raised tables like strawberries.

Agronomist Peter Bevan has been overseeing production at the Mockbeggar site in Kent. "Traditionally, cranberries take a long time to establish, but we estimate that our technology halves this to three years," he said. "Our aim is to make UK cranberry production into a sustainable business."

The first crop will be harvested over the next few weeks. The marketing group Total Berry, of which the farm is a part, believes that there will be a ready market for the cranberries.

A Total Berry representative said: "Our first crop is relatively small, but this will grow significantly over the next few years. We've got a lot of interest from retailers, although we can't go into details at the moment.

"But we do believe that we could soon be seeing volume production and large quantities of our cranberries in British supermarkets within a very short time."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Business Planning - Brace now for Brexit impact

Business Planning - Brace now for Brexit impact

Neville Stein advises how businesses can act now to protect themselves against higher plant import costs after the Brexit deadline.

What do Stockbridge's new research facilities offer the industry?

What do Stockbridge's new research facilities offer the industry?

What should be done to ensure sustainable growth in English wine?

What should be done to ensure sustainable growth in English wine?

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +


The Horticulture Week Business Awards is now open for entries

Horticulture Week Top UK FRUIT PRODUCERS

See our exclusive RANKING of UK Fruit Producers by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS.

Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon