In June, British Summer Fruits, the industry body that represents 95% of all the UK’s commercial soft-fruit growers, relaunched and rebranded to become British Berry Growers.
Since 1992, the UK’s crop association for the soft-fruit industry has supported UK growers to build a £billion industry and the largest within UK horticulture. British Berry Growers’ ambition is for British seasonal berries to continue to provide 100% of the UK’s needs and for exports to be 50% bigger than British sales volumes by 2035.
The new organisation will have four key effort priorities:
- To ensure understanding of the British berry industry’s positive contribution to a sustainable rural economy and the nation’s health, and shape government policy to support British Berry Growers’ mission
- To direct world-leading berry research and development that supports the treatment of pests and diseases and crop utilisation, and drives future efficiencies, including the reduction of carbon, waste, and the water footprint of the UK berry industry
- To grow sales of berries by building UK consumer awareness and advocacy, focusing on British berries first and driving overall consumer demand by covering 52 weeks of the year
- To identify and tackle the industry’s key risks to ensure its long-term viability and to provide support for UK berry growers
Commenting on the launch of British Berry Growers, chair Nick Marston said: “The launch of British Berry Growers marks an exciting moment for the British berry industry. The British berry industry is a true British business success story. Now worth over £1.6 billion year-round, the value of the industry has doubled in just a decade. Our growers sit at the heart of the rural economy and our industry is recognised as a key contributor to UK food self-sufficiency. British Berry Growers will champion the tireless work of our berry growers, both big and small, and support them as they adapt to the future challenges of seasonal berry production. We’re here to secure the long-term success of the British berry industry.”
The creation of British Berry Growers brings with it the launch of a new dedicated R&D advisory board. Its purpose will be to enable British Berry Growers to become recognised as one of the best crop associations in the world, technically and environmentally.
The evolution of the trade body also sees the appointment of two new non-executive directors to British Berry Growers. Former MEP Anthea McIntyre CBE joins the organisation to advise and provide support on policy matters, while Dr Louise Sutherland brings her years of expertise in agri-tech to set up the newly formed R&D advisory board.
British Berry Growers will continue to fund Love Fresh Berries, the organisation’s all year-round PR and social media campaign to promote strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, and all berry industry activities.