Kent-based top fruit supplier AC Goatham, which was recently featured in the BBC Two television programme Britain’s Favourite Foods – Are They Good for You?, has recently completed the first phase of planting its new Conference pear orchard at Elmstone near Canterbury, which is says is the largest pear orchard to be planted in the UK in 40 years.
Once completed the site will include 63,000 trees and will produce about 60 tonnes per hectare each year. So far, 43,000 trees have been planted and the remaining 20,000 trees will be planted this coming winter.
Ross Goatham, partner at A C Goatham & Son, told Kent Online, “We growers have to be more competitive and innovative if we are looking to compete directly with European growers, before the market for English grown pears disappears completely. This new orchard will see meaningful cropping after three years in 2018, so the old adage about planting pears for heirs will no longer ring true.”