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Berry Garden’s Unrivalled Success at Grower Awards 2015

Berry Garden’s Unrivalled Success at Grower Awards 2015

Berry Garden Growers enjoyed an outstanding night at the Grower Awards last night scooping four Awards in total and one Commendation.

“It is great to see so many of our growers and staff recognised by the judging panel for their dedication and passion to the UK fruit industry”, says Nicholas Marston Managing Director of Berry Gardens. “The British soft fruit industry continues to enjoy good growth as consumers enjoy the benefits of almost year round home grown fruit lead by outstanding varieties such as Driscolls® Solero™ and Lusa strawberries as well as Maravilla raspberries”.

Berry Garden Ltd winners include:


  1. Lower Hope Farms for Top Fruit Grower of the Year, for their innovative and ground breaking cherry concept orchard. Simon Wells, Managing Director commented “This award is due to the commitment and hard work of the team at Lower Hope Farms and we will continue to push the boundaries of growing British cherries.”


Andy Mellonie, Marks and Spencer Senior Agronomist adds “Lower Hope Farms new Concept Orchard is a glimpse into the future of how all modern British cherry orchards will be managed in the future. It is a credit to the hard work and innovative approach of Clive, Andy, Simon and their team to see a series of trails on this scale. It’s extremely impressive to see just how quickly first production has been achievable”.


  1. Littywood Farm owned by the Busby family based in Stafford won Soft Fruit Grower of the Year. Husband and wife teams Stephen, Helen, Tim and Rachel Busby all attended the Awards ceremony last night. Littywood have been working very closely with Asda for a number of years developing new pack formats and varieties. Artur Grochala, Senior Technologist at IPL says “Congratulations to the team at Littywood, we have a long term relationship with Littywood Farm as they consistently deliver high quality and great tasting British strawberries, they are one of our best performing growers in our supply base. Over the last few years the business has supported our future growth plans and range development with new pack formats such as the mix pack. Due to their efficient picking, packing and delivery infrastructure we are able to get fruit on the shop floor within 24 hours of picking ensuring customers the best quality and taste.”


  1. Driscolls® Solero™ for Best New Variety, Sabina Wyant, Tesco Soft Fruit Technical Manager happily accepted the Award on behalf of Berry Gardens Growers. Sabina, a big fan of Solero says “Solero™ has consistently sweet flavour and juicy texture. The heart-shape appearance and medium berry size delivers excellent product appearance. It is great that this variety delivers on external appearance and flavour for our customers. Driscoll’s® Solero™ has done exceptionally well during heat waves; flavour, appearance and shelf life were not affected. Driscoll’s® Solero™ is an excellent strawberry for our customers during Wimbledon. There are limited number of good June bearer strawberries, we are very pleased that we can offer Driscoll’s® Solero™ to our customers”.


  1. Jon Marcar, Lead Berry Gardens Agronomist won the inaugural award for Best Agronomist of the Year. Jon joined Berry Gardens 7 years ago and for the last 3 years has been Lead Agronomist supporting the rest of the Agronomy team to ensure Berry Gardens growers are up to date with current growing methods and technology. Jon’s ethos is Inform, Educate and Implement. He has also worked on specific projects over the last few years, in particularly the establishment of new glasshouse production for Haygrove Ltd in Wales. James Waltham, Managing Director Haygrove Ltd adds “Jon Marcar has been advising Haygrove as an agronomist for 4 years. His deep understanding of berry agronomy, combined with a very practical and logical approach to developing agronomy strategies which meet the needs of our growing business, are highly valued by us”.


  1. Chris Price of Moorcroft Fruit Ltd based in Hereford received Highly Commended in the Young Grower of the Year category. He has been working with Berry Gardens since 2008 and during that time has grown his business significantly from producing 1t of cherries in his first year to 40tonnes in 2014. Procurement Manager, Jonathan Hillary adds “Chris is an innovative grower and always remains focussed on quality”.



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